I flipped while kayaking.  Must admit that does not happen very often on an accidental basis, so it surprised me as much as it did folks watching.  Besides just the “having to roll,” was the fact that it happened in Class II whitewater. In front of an audience.  About the time the announcer was so kindly letting everyone know that the “expert” was now running the gates.

The fact that this unexpected flip happened in the middle of a slalom event – at the fourth of eighteen gates, meant that I had to roll up, assess where I was, get my head back on, and continue. I had fourteen more gates to run!

I did not handle my flip as well as I would have liked. It threw me off. I was cold. And now colder.  I had to get my bearings back. I missed some gates as a result – which unnerved me even more as I don’t typically miss a gate.  BUT while I had a pretty lousy run, that experience helped me on my second run, and in each of my other events that weekend.  I came away a better boater not because of the first places I earned, but because of having to deal with a mess up.  I just added yet another lesson to my growing list of why slalom boating is so good for paddlers in all disciplines of kayaking.  READ WHY SLALOM HELPS WITH THE MESS UP FACTOR….