I love to do adventurous activities, and this year, I could not participate in one because of the global pandemic. I was also worried about my health as I was not doing any physical activities during the lockdown.
Even after the lockdown was over, I could not participate in those activities, which discouraged me. Then my father allowed me to participate in activities that were available in the city. However, there were no activities available, so I decided to do something with the equipment I had in hand, there was a kayak I owned, and there was a river nearby.
So, I decided to learn kayaking from my mother and various YouTube videos with all the equipment correctly & the safety measures and complete at least one kilometer of kayaking without falling into the water.
I was only allowed to cross the river’s width, and the width of the river at the kayaking site is about four hundred meters. Hence one and a half trips of the width without falling would be enough to accomplish the goal. Achieving this goal helped me enhance my physical fitness and taught me perseverance, which would help me a lot during my later life stages.
Identifying my strengths and weaknesses was not the challenging part of learning kayaking. I knew my strengths and weaknesses. While I was in the early stages of learning kayaking, I learned about my strengths and weaknesses. As I got to know about my weaknesses and strengths, I simultaneously learned about kayaking techniques. This made me more conscious of my actions while kayaking.
I feel that, because I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses, I can act much more confidently as I have corrected my mistakes and almost overcome my weaknesses. For example, one of my weaknesses was that I did not have enough upper body strength to control the kayak during a fast current and was dragged out by the current on the river’s path. This also made me land on an unknown site, which could be dangerous if you are not aware of the area. I realized that I lacked upper body strength when I was so tired that I could barely get the kayak out of the water while returning. This also meant that I would probably need to increase my stamina as well. Meaning, you have to know what you have to improve to improve it or look like a dunce.
We need to know about our strengths and weaknesses as when you know that you are good enough for a task, you feel confident, and you excel more proficiently in the particular task when you are sure that you are skillful at it. I believe that overcoming your mistakes is the best way to learn. Ergo, being conscious of your strengths and weaknesses is necessary to grow in the field and as a human being.
I worked for weeks in order to rectify my errors and overcome my weaknesses. There were many mistakes I wanted to correct. However, two were most prominent, my lack of upper body strength and the balance of force you need to put on the oars in order to turn.
I would still like to work on some of my weaknesses, such as giving up early, not showing enough dedication, and laziness. I think that the CAS experiences will help me overcome these problems I face in the experiences and real life.
While talking about kayaking, overcoming these weaknesses mentioned above would help me learn kayaking early, and not only kayaking, it would help me in many tasks, ranging from daily life activities to extreme sports such as trekking, kayaking, or skiing, to name a few. A kayak can be made from a bunch of strong sticks tied together as well. Hence learning kayaking would help if I am lost somewhere near a water body, and I need to survive.
There were some challenges in the process of learning kayaking, which was very difficult to overcome. In the beginning, I was not able to control the kayak while turning in the current and always topple the kayak. I overcame this challenge by practicing every week as we would be able to go out on Sundays. It was challenging at first as I did not have the upper body strength or control of the kayak during fast currents. I had to exercise a lot to gain the upper body strength needed to row large distances, and as I gained more strength, the control of the kayak increased by itself.
I have done white-water rafting, which is similar to kayaking, although, in rafting, we just have to go with the flow of the current. In kayaking, we have to go against the current most of the time.
I feel very proud that I could complete one kilometer of kayaking without breaks and without falling out of the kayak. I was so surprised that I had gained a lot of upper body strength since when I just started to learn. Undertaking new challenges is necessary to learn about the world and yourself and grow as a human being. When you face and overcome new challenges, you know what you are capable of, and being aware of your capabilities is essential if you want to succeed in something.
While learning kayaking, I discovered that I already knew how to row correctly and the rhythm to not fall off of the kayak. This skill would be helpful to me in the future if I am stranded somewhere near a water body, and as I go on a lot of treks and outdoor adventures, it is likely to happen sometime. Building a kayak is very simple. It can be constructed out of some flexible and sturdy sticks, especially bamboo shoots, which can handle your weight. You just have to tie them up, forming a bow and a stern, and not let any sticks loose, or else the kayak will deconstruct itself when in water.
Having learned this skill makes me feel safe in some way. Furthermore, some new skills in your inventory would be of use in the future. Learning new skills is vital in your life as learning some skill in your life on numerous aspects helps you understand different techniques beneficial in the later stages of your life.
Kayaking is a highly physically challenging activity, and I was not up to the task as I lacked upper body strength and the correct technique. As mastering it is only possible by more and more practice, learning kayaking was becoming monotonous. There were several instances when I felt that I should give up, but I showed perseverance and still did not give up and just practiced for many days, and finally, I was able to control the kayak and not let it fall into the water.
The main commitment I showed while learning kayaking, was to never give up. I do not think that committing to something is easy, it takes time but after a while, you get the hang of it. Also, by committing things, one can gradually develop a strong mindset.
The main Learner Profile Attribute I portrayed was Risk-taker, as kayaking could be fatal if not properly performed.