I am nearly 66 and my body does not have the strength that it did when I was much younger, and I think the problem of getting in over the cockpit is a lack of upper body strength? Any comments?
I've been telling everyone I'm 67 for a while now, and then the other day, got to thinking about that. Turns out I'll be 69 in 2 months; I lost count of the years!!
When speaking of upper body strength, I think that is a must for rescuing yourself when kayaking. I have worked out over the years, but had goofed off for the last 3 or 4, exercising a little, but not much. Six months ago at the urging of my wife who works out 5 to 6 times weekly, I got back into it with the help of her trainer, a lady who is around 40 years-old, a graduate of the Cooper Institute in Dallas, a world renowned exercise intitute, 100 miles north of us, and one heck of a trainer.
When we started, I told Gretchen I wanted strength and endurance, not muscle mass; there is a difference. Women often go for the goals I was seeking, while many men go for muscle mass, the reason for my chosing a woman trainer. It was a great decision. I am not large to begin with, 5'6" and about 165# at 68 years of age. In the 6 months since I have begun, I have stayed about the same weight, but become considerably stronger. I am a veterinarian who does small animals now, after large animals earlier in life, but not all small animals are small. All that designation indicates is the pet that walks through the door is smaller than a cow or horse. I handle 100 plus to 150 pound animals frequently, not necessarily picking them up, because we have lift tables for that, but I do lift them in surgery, with bended knees, from the floor often.
I can tell a major difference now that I've been working out again. Gretchen has me in much better condition, and I have gained both upper and lower body strength. She knows I kayak, fish, hike, backpack in the Texas Big Bend, along with whatever else comes up. My goal is to maintain that lifestyle even though I am growing older.
I plan to buy a Hobie PA in the fall, and with my better condition, I anticipate being able to handle its size with far more more ease. The increased upper body strength will also aid me in getting back in whenever I've fallen out or tipped. I plan to go back in over the stern because of its width, or at least try. In addition to all of that, my chest is going back to where its supposed to be, up near my shoulders, rather than down under my belt. I've not lost weight, but my chest has regained much of its size, and my waist has decreased by 2 inches, soooooooo..........................
My suggestion to you is start working out again, if you're not already doing so!!!!! It will help as you go through life, and it will help more than you can ever dream when paddling, peddling and taking care of yourself in your kayak.