I'm really happy that despite getting to an age that some folk have inadvertently fallen into a rut of familiarity, I'm still leaning skills, having adventures and experiencing new things.
One of the things I'm most excited about on my journey of being a team GB para canoeist is the fact that I can now ........ do chin ups. Note the deliberate plural here :-)
This may not be a skill high up on many of your wish lists, but I've been trying unsuccessfully to do one for years. In fact I can remember being turned away from the local gym club aged 10, despite being able to do passable headstand, because I failed the strength (ie chin up) test .
|Me doing chin ups (ie more than 1!)|
As a cyclist, chin ups were about as likely to happen - and as relevant - as me jumping over the moon, but when I started kayaking everyone said I had to be able to do chin ups - It's a kinda right of passage - something to do with getting strong arms, backs and shoulders I suppose.
In fact chin ups are so much of a way of life for kayakers that most of them can jump onto a bar and pop out hundreds while still chatting about their weekend. Many tie massive weights around their waists- (big enough to make my knees buckle) and then they still manage several?!? Kayakers have even been known to do chin-ups for fun at parties...
Another new experience for me is eating eggs. Now bear with me, egg eating may seem random and unrelated to my chin up success, but I wonder ?..... When I started on the journey changing from an endurance to a sprint athlete I had to get bigger and stronger. In order to achieve this my diet had to incorporate more protein - "Eat eggs" everyone said. This was going to be a massive challenge to manage because eggs make me feel sick- I've never been able to eat eggs, think about eggs or even sit next to someone eating eggs without feeling really nauseous.
|Yes! I can now eat eggs :-)|
However, continuing the theme of 'embracing new experiences' I figured if I could become European champion in less than a year of kayaking then I could also conquer egg eating.
It's taken me 18 months of trying and I'm not sure which was harder, chin ups or egg eating but I'm happy to report that I can now do both.
I hasten to add that I can't do many of either (and never at the same time;-) ) nor do I particularly enjoy doing them and I definitely, categorically won't be doing either at parties !!