Trials and Tribulations

27 Feb

It’s been a while since I posted. Not happy about it but there’s not much I felt like writing about. A lot has gone on that’s not kayak specific and far too little that is kayak specific. In my draft box in WordPress there’s a bunch of half written posts. One is even about Klanocopia 2011 which was a big success but I was too flat to even upload photos. Once I’ve got this catharsis out of the way I’ll post about my new acquisitions and maybe some events. Rock n Roll 2012 is coming up but this happy event is now a problem.

You see, just recently my wife decided she’d had enough after 30 years. It’s not like I didn’t see it coming but when it came it was pretty horrible. It’s pretty cordial but we’re not even friends any more. I don’t want to know what she’s doing and it appears she couldn’t care less about what I’m doing. Hardly surprising. It’s been like this for years. I now live across the road with my Dad. This is handy as we share duties with the kids and we are close. They are still depressed about all this but the proximity makes the transition easier on them. My problem is not with all this, it’s with my Dad. He is slowing dying from Pulmonary Fibrosis, a condition where the inside of the lungs scars up until you can’t breath. Apart from his lungs, he’s in good shape. Theoretically. Without oxygen he has become frail and gradually failing in all areas. He needs constant attention for the most basic things. I have to work full-time in the Solar industry and I rely on others to drop in to check him out so I worry about him all day. I can’t plan anything or go anywhere. Even paddling for a day requires planning and worry so I just don’t bother. Rock n Roll is the biggest event of the year for me and now it is the biggest headache. My wife insists I go as she will look after Dad for a few days. I appreciate this but the worry of it is debilitating. If I don’t go I will seethe with resentment and if I do I’ll worry and not fully involve myself.

Pretty depressing tale of woe for a kayak blog, isn’t it. However, I was born with a strong gift for optimism so after a few weeks of self-pity, I have focused on doing the things I can do. With the prospect of dating looming, I have committed myself to rebuilding my dilapidated 49 year old frame. I was once an athlete, a serious one too, and I have found that I am responding to the old regimen again. My weight is falling away and muscle is hardening up. I am walking and now even running a little. Physically, I am feeling pretty sharp and enjoying turning things around. I am entering two events next year, the Warrior Dash and Tough Blokes Challenge, which I have set as goal posts. After this anything is possible. Paddling is what I really want to do and I aim to fix this hiatus soon and get out on the sea. The klan has a bunch of new members and I have left the running of it to randomness. Fortunately, the klan is self-sustaining but without direct leadership it is not moving ahead in terms of enlarging the klan culture, training, event planning and just awesomeness. One step at a time, though. My morale has taken a hit over the last months but I am an expert in self rallying and I can feel the next phase of my life will be difficult but progressive. Languishing in an unhappy marriage has made me soft, weak and malady ridden and I hated that. Now, I am motivated, leaner, healthier and a real catch for any nice female adventurers. Just joking, although having a wife that hated outdoor activity like kayaking and trekking has been a real boat-anchor and any future partner would more than likely be involved in that life-style. The klan has great examples of paddling partners I really envy, like Owen and Anne, Graeme and Leonie, Bruce and Lynne and I think sharing this life with your partner would be fantastic but I’m not ready for this just yet. My friend Greg wants me to slow down, take a breath and enjoy being single for a while. My paddling buddy Dobbo advises me to buy everything I want while I can and I’m already a step ahead of his advice. He also advises something else which is both disturbing and exciting at the same time and I won’t repeat that here.

You just never know what the tide brings. It’s a bit like seal-landing a kayak. One minute you are going along just fine and next you are sitting perched on a gnarly rock with your ass only millimetres from peril. Just when you think your number’s up, you are lifted up and sent on your way. A few scars in the gel-coat but if you’re sturdy enough to endure them your life is all the more interesting for the experience.


Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Kayaking Life


7 responses to “Trials and Tribulations

  1. Mark Sundin

    February 28, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Brad, I pledge to make it my responsibility to take your mind off any worries at Rock & Roll. I think I’m quite good at that, esepwcially at RnR….! See you there.

    • rjimlad

      February 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Ominous, Mark. Make sure you bring the uke. I would pay money to see a drunken kiwi do the haka on that Mexican, Selim. Again. I’ll make sure my hi def is all go because Facebook needs to see Sundin at his very worst.

  2. JohnA

    February 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Welcome back Brad.

  3. Simon

    February 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hey Brad. Follow Dobbo’s advice. He is a man of much wisdom. I take no responsibility for any nasty after effects though!

    • rjimlad

      February 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      OK, thanks Simon. Since I have the approval of both a shrink and a Buddhist I now feel oblige to go completely berserk.

      • Simon

        February 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        We will be down on the 16th for a couple of days if you want to discuss appropriate beserkness, on or off the water.

  4. Owen Walton

    February 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Brad – Its an oldie but is still very true, that; every experience that doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.
    In many ways you are treading the same path that I went down not that many years ago. Remember, life is a once only experience (apologies to my Buddhist friends) and you have to make good with the cards you’re dealt. There is no instant replay in this game. Go berserk!


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