Friday, August 3, 2018

A New Kedge

I've written before about kedging, which is a specifically nautical term that can also be used to mean having a goal to work towards. You set your intention, then use it to pull yourself forward.

My weakness is not progress but focus. It's easy for me to slip into the busy-ness of "to do" list mode, getting a lot of small, unimportant things done while the bigger things are pushed into the indefinite future. I might do a great job at organizing the kitchen cabinets, for example, but never get around to planning that vacation I'd always wanted to take.

Setting a kedge gives me a deadline. And around here, nothing gets done unless it has a due date!

Two years ago, serendipity led me to a wonderful paddle that also accomplished something I'd wanted to do for years: visit the Alligator Lighthouse. It's 4 miles off the coast of Islamorada in the Florida Keys, and it beckons the snorkeler and kayaker in me just as surely as it used to warn ships away from the reef.

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Alligator Lighthouse, as just barely seen from the beach. 

My opportunity came when I learned that a timeshare vacation coincided with the annual open water swim that loops around the lighthouse. It's a crazy distance when you think about swimming it, but each swimmer needs a safety kayaker, and kayaking 8 miles under such gorgeous conditions is an irresistible proposition. It was one of the very best experiences of my life.

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Alligator Lighthouse

Before you click on the video, check out the "thumbnail" -- for some unknown and assuredly random reason, that's me in the green kayak and white shirt (with a towel over my legs to avoid sunburn)!

Last year the swim was canceled because of Hurricane Irma; lots of swimmers donated their entry fees to help the Keys recover. This year I set my goal of doing that paddle again. I'll be teaming up with the same swimmer and some friends will be supporting his girlfriend, who's also entered in the race.

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"My" swimmer, Mike
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We saw the light!

Plus I'll be staying at the host resort, far more swanky than my usual accommodations. Two years ago the post-race dinner was also a bucket list item: on the beach, under the retro party lights. 

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Post-race party

It's great to have something to look forward to and work forward to. The gym and the weekend kayaking are much more motivating, knowing I'm in training!

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