I've been categorized as many things in my life: Incense burning hippie; indie rock; anti-hipster hipster; total bitch. I took it to a whole new extreme on Sunday as a canoeing enthusiast.
Water sports having always a found a spot on my "favorite interests" lists when filling out surveys, resumes and boxes on social stalking, I mean, networking sites like MySpace. Madison's oasis of water was one of the big incentives to relocating to an otherwise land-locked territory.
After diving into the opinions of locals, I decided Lake Wingra Canoe and Sailing on Madison's smallest lake was where I'd launch. My fellow enthusiast brought his own personal flotation device (PFD) and some canoeing paddles -- all we needed was a boat to contain our adventure.
Three trips to and from the car later, we finally stowed our unnecessary belongings, ascertained the monetary form required (cash only) and dropped our names at the little hut. While waiting for our water craft, I wrapped myself in an orange PFD that ate my neck. My pride and contrived Napoleon complex would not let me cave to a youth sized preserver and I figured that in this getup, I could always double as a buoy to cranky children thrown overboard.
I was once told that if a normal person's arms were a government, mine were a puny PTA meeting. But the proper form of canoeing has little to do with the biceps, and almost everything to do with the core! I dug my paddle into the water like a champ, sitting at the bow like the captain of a ship!
Meanwhile, my friend, whose thumb could crush me like a clove of garlic in a press, manned the stern. The fact that he was a professional boating instructor might have had something to do with our impeccable turns and speed, but I know it was my brawn.
Weeds, algae and the man in the stern floated about as the sun flickered through clouds and trees and reflected itself off the crest of the Capitol building. All was serene until he finished his swim and flung himself back into the boat.
"What is that?" he asked as we paddled towards a curious object in the water.
I squinted through the hazy lenses of my glasses, "I think it's... Jimmy Hoffa!" I exclaimed.
"Um, actually, I think it looks like a motorized fish..." my friend clarified.
A man cackled like Count von Count from his pontoon, "Oh, ah ah ah... that's our... toy! Didn't mean to scare you kids!"
Yeah, I was shaking in my boat-shoes because of your dinky motorized cod. Did no one else see Jimmy Hoffa?
Despite that incident and the fact that I have had a charley horse in my glueteus maximus for the past two days, the trip was one of the most rewarding things I have done in Madison. Totally worth dropping six bones to the fishes!