A Breath of Fresh Air

How I'm getting back out into the countryside whilst living with MS

Paddle Power

Old Man of Coniston

Old Man of Coniston

After getting back on the tandem last weekend, this weekend saw us paddling our way round Coniston Water in the Lake District. Isn’t summer just fab?! Although Pete’s knee wasn’t up to taking the strain of lugging the inflatable canoe about, we were able to hire a boat instead.

We chose a sit-on-top kayak. Well, we actually thought we’d chosen what we now know to be a Canadian canoe, which is much more well, like a boat rather than a piece of plastic sitting on top of the water! Ah well, you live and learn. Anyway, although we got a little damp, it was fun, and, incredibly, the water was warm – a record! The kayak was really nippy and we cut through the water at a good rate of knots, although it did spin around in circles of its own accord if we stopped!

our kayak

our kayak

I also found that a day on the water with a fresh breeze blowing really helped to counteract the rather intense heat we’re experiencing at the moment. It kept me at a pleasant temperature and I had the added bonus of beautiful scenery to admire all day.

approaching the shore near the boating centre

approaching the shore near the boating centre

I’ve been perusing the website of the Coniston Boating Centre since I got back and I was very impressed to see that they have a wheelchair accessible boat! I have to admit that I didn’t spot it on the day but I’m sure there wouldn’t be a problem if you rang ahead.  They also have electric bikes for hire … and I can definitely recommend those! This is the website: http://www.conistonboatingcentre.co.uk/home – just click along to Boat Hire then Motor Boats and have a look.


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3 thoughts on “Paddle Power

  1. Jane on said:

    Hi there, it is so fantastic to hear about your adventures cycling and canoeing!! I was diagnosed with ms in 2005 and riding my horse has been a complete lifeline! When I get on him I feel as if I leave ms on the mounting block and look fairly “normal” and active – it’s a great feeling to go fast now that my legs won’t co-operate any more! Great to hear of someone else doing the same! 🙂 I used to love sailing, ski-ing, cycling and, like you, bring as active as possible and out in the fresh air really does help 🙂

    • Hi Jane,
      yes, it’s that feeling of being “normal” that is so wonderful! I remember the first time that I went out in the canoe in the Lake District, looking up at the mountains and feeling like I was part of the place again, doing something instead of just looking around me thinking about what I used to be able to do. I did toy with the idea of trying horse riding after my day at the Sportsfest that I wrote about but I haven’t quite had the nerve! However, I can totally appreciate the freedom it gives you and the speed!

  2. Jane on said:

    Definitely the feeling of participating is so empowering! As is feeling that you’re doing things at a normal speed instead of slow motion…
    I won’t deny that horse riding isn’t hazardous – it is even for able bodied people – and I’ve had my share of visits to A&E but, for me at least, I couldn’t give up the sense of freedom it gives me!

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