You guys who know me may know that I love being on the water. I have a passion for boating, fishing, surfing, or whatever gets me out on the water. Canoeing and kayaking are one of my most favorite activities even though for the past several years I have been almost too afraid to go because of my weight. I was afraid of tipping, sinking, displacing, etc. because of being a walrus. Well now that I am down 70 pounds my fears, while still in the back of my head, have subsided.
This past Saturday I had the fortune to go kayaking with a group of guys from church and I took full advantage of said opportunity.
Now I AM NOT the kind of person who logs calorie burning activity unless it is a concerted workout effort. I know there are a lot of folks who track burns while cutting the grass and cleaning the house and whatnot. I have another post coming about that, so I will just say that I had NOT planned on listing this activity as an official calorie burn. But then I did some research and found out that paddling can actually be quite an intense workout, especially if you are a vigorous paddler and you are putting in around 200 minutes, which I am, and did. Enough commas for you,? (Yes yes grammar nazi friends, I left that one there before the question mark ironically on purpose)
This post is supposed to be about the calorie burn, but I feel I need to set the scene. The plan had been to paddle across the south end of Lake Moultrie and then into the Pinopolis Lock to ride the water elevator down to the Tailrace Canal and on into Wadboo Creek. Like any of you know what any of that means… Anyway, the lake was too rough that morning so we ended up taking a pontoon across the and into the Lock. If you do not know what a lock is, allow me to give you a quick description. The lake is dammed in order to provide hydro-electric power to the State of South Carolina. The lake is of course on the backside of the dam and the canal is at the bottom of the dam, 75 feet lower. The lock is basically a way to get from the lake to the canal so that one can navigate in theory from Charleston to Columbia (or visa-versa) by water. It truly is a water elevator. Anyway, we rode the lock down in the pontoon boat and the dumped out into the Tailrace Canal which leads to the Cooper River, which flows into Charleston Harbor and on into the Atlantic.
Here begins the adventure (written from the perspective of someone who is currently reading the Game of Thrones series and is obsessed)…
Our journey finds the group of warriors entering the mysterious water elevator around the mid-day chime of the High Sept’s crystal bell. Adventure lies 75 feet below on the other side of the wall.
Our barge begins to shake as the water suddenly drops from beneath us revealing what can only be described as an ancient doorway.
The unseen keepers of the Door call for the bound giants to turn the massive gears. Slowly the door opens forth. A breath of cool air fills the confined space which has held us captive for an agonizing 10 minutes or so.
Finally the doors are wide and we spill forth into the unknown adventure which lay ahead.
Looking behind we soon realize that a great wall of water is being held against us as if by some magic. Or feat of modern engineering. Either way we are all awed by the sight. As soon as we clear the great gate from another time, we hear the giant’s bellows and the doors slowly begin to close behind us. We may never see the aft side of that Great Door again. Were that the bards write songs about our adventures should any of us return to tell the tale.
Soon our barge reached the far shore of Gilliagan’s Restaurant in the distant land of Moncks Corner.
There we encountered our self-propelled water chariots and hence forth became known as the Brotherhood of the Rotomolded Polyethylene. Our sigil became the crossed paddles on a watery background and our battle cry, “How Steereth Thou, This Boat!”
The time had come to mount up. Our floating cavalry made its way into the river and ventured forth down the perilous path with only our wits to protect us from the gruesome danger that lay ahead. Our wits and our paddle lances.
We soon encountered the perils of the open river and yet we prevailed. After fighting off gigantic sharks, humongous octopi, and average sized alligators, we reached the mouth of Wadboo Creek, also known as the Gateway to our Victory.
Little did we know that the rice swamps held much more in store for us than we could have ever imagined. The danger of the unending labyrinth of waterways was compounded by low water levels. And mermaids. Yeah, mermaids. That’s what caused us to lose our way…
But the Great Maker of the Depths smiled down upon us and opened a path through the mire…
Only to lead us again into the trappings of the Great Cypress Black Water…
Never to be heard from again…
It is enough to make the great warrior show off the Beast Face of the Swamp!
Never mind that you can see the fillings of this great warrior. He sent word, by his trusty crow, to this scribe to recount the adventure that was. I am sure that the singers will fill the ale houses with song of this band of warriors and their mission through the locks and swamps of the realm. But more than likely this occurrence will soon be forgotten, as we all know that the bards are drunks and no one really cares about a bunch of folks, with no real mission, lost in a swamp.
And so the journey comes to an end.
But not before I tell you that almost four hours of hard paddling burned right around 2000 calories. Granted, it was not the intensity that caused the burn as much as the duration. But regardless, it was exercise. I was outside enjoying a beautiful day. And I can claim a great burn.
I plan to paddle more and more now that I am not so afraid of sinking the boat.
I encourage you all to find fun was to burn calories. The treadmill can get old and stale and staleness leads to disinterest. Disinterest can lead to apathy and in turn to giving up.