One paddle stroke at a time

The average person on a kayak paddles about 40 times a minute and can move at the rate of around 3 km/hr through the water. Therefore, a 10 kilometer trip can take a little over 3 hours, and comprises about 8000 paddle strokes! A lot more if the wind or the current works against them.

Now 8000 strokes can be daunting – especially for somebody who does not paddle everyday. All that paddling is done against the force of water to propel a kayak forward. That much effort seen together can seem quite painful and would make a bad selling proposition. And yet, several amateur paddlers routinely go on 10 kilometer trips – both on placid lake waters as well as on the choppy waters of the sea. And as long as they are immersed in the activity, every stroke is filled with joy.

Thinking of the effort involved in making a long journey all at once is discouraging. The resulting fear can cause us to hide and think that we aren’t yet ready. But we can go a really long way one step at a time. Much longer than when we think when we look at all that effort before we start.

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