Got home from work around 6:15pm, ate dinner as I was quite hungry, got my water pouch ready and out I went. I was debating if I should eat and try exercising ‘fasting’ for better results. It wasn’t this time yet. I had lunch right at noon and by 6pm I was starving. Green beans, some greens and a beef was what I had. Oh and neapolitan ice cream. I’m getting quite annoyed with my need to have sweets after eating. Probably not a good habit but I’m not breaking it now, unless I’m out of ice cream.
Hit the 14th street dock by 7:11pm heading north on the New River till I95. Going under Broward Boulevard and I-95 is peaceful and quite the opposite of the hectic come and go of these two roads. The river is quiet and the birds that live there do not seem fazed by the occasional firemen sirens, car honks and humming of the cars zooming right over their heads. The only one that seems to bother them is me. As I paddle by on my own, the birds watch me and I wonder if there are any other animals observing me at this same moment. Looking at the banks of the New River of Fort Lauderdale all I see is trees, rocks and mud. Not a sight of any other living species. I”ll believe these are the only species there. Me, the birds, the fish and there’s gotta be crabs. Come on this a mangrove. It’s a bit dirty but one can smell the salt in the air and that is a good sign.
My strokes are more constant now, I did the whole way without stopping. Sometimes going faster sometimes slower but still steady only stopping the strokes to change hands. The body seems to be adapting to the new routine. I don’t feel as tired, the heart is racing but I manage to breath through my nose to calm it down. My feet doesn’t feel that heavy anymore. That is probably the main sign of the body adapting to the new movements.
It’s easier now to bend forward. In my mind I think I’m doing it all right. My technique is proper, I bend forward, reach all the way out, over the board, rotate the body and pull the paddle back towards me. It seems flawless until it’s not. It’s still not perfect. I’m sure I will be fixing things soon. Not bending my back, but bending on my hips. Just caught myself doing that one.
The sun is setting and it’s hard to look forward as I head west. It’s shining its rays right on my face. A homeless guy is trying to fish. And another and another. This part of the river is a hit with the homeless people. They look at me and don’t say a word. I wonder what brought them to that situation. I try to not to think too much and keep paddling forward eventually turning around the bend of the river.
As I turn around and start paddling back, these kids start yelling at me from their yard: a shark, an alligator, this this and that. Which is it kids? A shark or an alligator?!
I keep going right past my starting point all the way to the swing bridge on Riverside Park. My neighbors are sitting on their waterfront yards talking and drinking. It’s only Monday, the sun is setting now, it’s darker and I’m out of the water with the sun.