Kayak the Potomac (It rhymes if you say “Potomac” like a civil war veteran)

The tranquil view of NoVA’s “big money” district

Nothing gives me flashbacks to summer camp quite like a kayak (or bunk beds or the Goosebumps books). When my attempt to rent a scull at Thompson’s Boat Center was thwarted, I made do with a kayak. Why thwarted, you ask? I’ll tell you. I learned that asking by phone whether I can be certified for sculling on a certain day is not sufficient and that I should instead be omniscient enough to know that Saturdays are sometimes right out. “Can’t you see there’s a regatta today?” “Why yes, sir, I can see that as I stand here. I’d like to have known it an hour ago—the hour that it took me to drive here…. This is where the website could be a more useful communication tool. You have no online calendar of events. Would you like to tell me again how there’s a regatta today and ask why oh why am I trying to get a scull certification?” I have no shiny sculling certificate to show you, but I did at least get a cheesy kayak adventure. This kayak adventure wasn’t like the one at St. Mary’s where I swam and kayaked an afternoon of frivolity away only to read a few days later that bull sharks were spotted in the river, pushed in by hurricane currents. That was a piss-my-pants moment.

Ah… graffiti-covered bridges, birds eating hot dogs, and water so thick with muck it has its own signature smell. Yes, I do believe I’m on the Potomac: where the trash floating on the water isn’t half so foul as the redneck who discarded it. I passed some regatta training and meekly waved, laughing internally at their struggle. I know the self-loathing when one hears a coxswain yelling to keep rowing when one’s body wants to give out. “Why am I here? Why did I just bus 5 hours to this regatta just to be yelled at, lose the race, feel inferior to fitter teammates?” I suppose I shouldn’t project onto them like that. Those high school boys might be far more confident than I was in sports. I laughed anyway. My mirth was quickly quelled by the stench of the half hidden drain passage as my kayak wobbled by.

On a positive note, although I didn’t take out the boat I wanted, I still found the water-based cardio exercise I went looking for. I think perhaps next I might try cardio boxing…. Will my wrists endure such a trial? We’ll see.

Hey, dudes. It’s not even toasty. Put your shirts on.

When drainage holes get dressed up like “The Secret Garden”, you’re in Georgetown.

About Marpoo

Purveyor of sass and unsubstantiated rhetoric. View all posts by Marpoo

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