Corona Diaries #22 Seth Ashworth, (Uk/Canada)
Outside, rivers are starting to flow and spring is here with the sun is shining high. Yet around the world, lost of us are grounded at home. Though difficult, let’s repeat it, folks this is THE THING TO DO! It is necessary and worth it!
So, we at Kayak Session decided to take the opportunity to catch up with our friends in the whitewater community and see how they are coping across the globe.
Today we talk with Ottawa river based British paddler Seth Ashworth who’s been paddling all over the world the past few years and who started last year a podcast called « Questions You Never Thought to Ask »
Remember the best way you can help your fellow kayakers is to stay away from them.
Where are you and what is the situation like where you are?
Ottawa Valley is a pretty rural community, this means we get the benefit of not having the ‘city crazy’, fewer people to accidentally interact with, less possibility of contracting or spread the virus. The big downside is it is quite a tight knit community and usually we would be spending a decent amount of time socialising with friends who live close by. So that kind of sucks, but it is a great opportunity to get things down around the house and learn other skills.
Any future plans in the works? Staying alive?
Doing the best I can to demonstrate good social distancing and leading by example as much as I can.
How are you maintaining fitness and your sanity?
Can you get any exercise or paddle at all? I am trying to get after it on the at home workouts a few times a week. Likely I will ramp that up a bit as this situation continues. Paddling wise it is easy to keep 6ft gap between you and others on the water but things like shuttle and setting safety are tricky. People in your household are fine, but that can be limiting. I have been vocal that people should be thoughtful of their actions and how it affects others. The sooner we all work together to put an end to the virus the sooner things will go back to normal. If that means I have to paddle a bit less at the moment to limit community spread, then so be it. Every person has to do their part. If we all have that ‘More We, less Me’ mindset we will get through this quicker. If people are gonna keep being a-holes and writing it off as ‘well it was just one shuttle ride’, then we will be in this situation for a lot longer.
I selfishly recommend my podcast ‘Questions You Never Thought to Ask’, a podcast all about whitewater kayaking.
Thoughts on paddling currently and how people can access their sport safely?
I mentioned it earlier but I will mention it again. Please stay up to date on health advice from W.H.O and C.D.C, beware of fake news. Please do not add to the already overburdened health care system by getting a stupid, miscellaneous kayaking injury. This is not the time to be going hard (there will be time for that later). Notch it down a bit, paddle some flatwater. Only paddle (and shuttle) with the people you live with. Think carefully about how your actions affect others and who the people may come into contact with. We (or certainly I) want to look back on this time in five years and say ‘I did everything I possibly could to stop the spread of the virus’, not ‘I could have done more’.
Ours is such a social sport, how do you see these next few months impacting the global paddling community? What good can we take away from this all?
These are dark times there is no denying. Use this time to get your health in good shape (especially joint health and flexibility), plan trips, google earth hunt your next set of first descents, learn something new or refresh your knowledge, focus on what you are eating more, look for upsides. And remember the best way you can help your fellow kayakers is to stay away from them.
Trying to only check the news three times per day. That is a big one.
How do you spend most of your time?
Looking for new recipes, studying (currently trying to brush up on some high school level maths, and will probably crack on to a language soon), exercise, shoulder rehab (I have had this niggling pain for ages that I am finally taking the time to resolve, reading books, staying up beat. And trying to only check the news three times per day. That is a big one.
What are you watching or listening to right now? Any recommendations?
Well of course I selfishly recommend my podcast ‘Questions You Never Thought to Ask’, a podcast all about whitewater kayaking. I have also been working my way through some other podcasts, recently. “The Missing CryptoQueen” was really good, that a BBC one, really well put together. I also just finished a book called ’12 Rules for Life’ By Jordan Peterson that was pretty good. And of course I am perpetually working my way back through all the Harry Potter books. They are the best.
Any words of wisdom for your fellow paddlers across the world?
Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems. Take it a day at a time or even an hour at a time if you have to but keep moving forward.