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Last year I had big changes happening in my personal life. I went from full time kayaker based in France and traveling 8-10 months out of the year to getting married, and settle down in Colorado with my wife. Domesticated, stuck and assigned to a job, there was a lot to adjust in order to adapt to this new lifestyle without changing a thing to what was so dear to me: YAKING!!!!!!!

I confronted myself to something new, that 99% of you will relate to. How do I find enough time, energy, and resources overall, to keep in sight the badass kayaker ideal that had been driving me until now? How do I keep fit, skilled, in love with my sport? How do I keep reaching out to my passion for kayaking when the big waves of Stakeout or the waterfall of Chile only gets to me through my Instagram feed? How do I BEAT THE WEEKEND WARRIOR who is trying to take over my life!

Here is my recipe!

Spending 1 hour on the water takes about 3 hours where I live. Time is scarce for all of us, and it’s so easy to fall into the spiral of: Not enough time to kayak -> I don’t do anything instead -> I’m not fit anymore -> I suck at kayaking -> I’m not kayaking anymore.
Instead, I’d much rather find off water trainings that lift my kayaking skills – or at least maintain my ability to kayak.
GYM: find exercises that will allow you to gain strength that will instantly transfer to what you need to kayak. No one needs to be jacked up and heavy with muscles to kayak. You need to be light, agile, balanced and strong. Therefore, forget the bench press! Use small weights, lots of reps, and tools that will require you to work on your balance while exercising. Go to Youtube, type in swiss ball exercises, TRX exercises, bodyweight gym exercises, you’ll find more than you can do in a lifetime.

RUNNING: It’s outside, it’s good for your cardio, you don’t need stuff to do it… And remember: running sucks until you actually do it. Most people see it as boring until they do it 2x and get hooked.
OTHER SPORTS: indoor climbing is really good for shoulder stability and is fun, mountain biking is good for cardio and core…. Just pick something you can do without almost any logistic, so you are sure that you will make it happen.

It will take full days to train, work and play. Only a healthy balanced lifestyle will allow you to have the energy to fill up your days with all of this good stuff. In order to be able to handle this, you can’t have bad sleep. here are 3 tips to get your sleep right:
– No coffee after midday
– Go to bed early: if you are sleeping at 9pm, you could wake up at 6am fired up.
– 5 minutes of meditation when you wake up, 5 minutes before you go to bed. That’s all you need to reconnect with your emotions and get rid of stress and agitation, and recover well when you sleep.

As far as eating, you wouldn’t believe how much your energy, and even temper can be affected by the way you eat. I encourage you to experiment different diets to discover what fits you. Don’t be scared to shake your uses and prejudices to find out what suits you. Here is a hint: start with 2 weeks with no meat.

It’s hard, but it’s worth it. If you live where you play, you’ll save so much time on driving that it will make it worth it.

We have long and hard winters in Colorado. It gets terribly dry and cold. Anyway, I at least paddle once a week during winter. There is a class 2/3 run by my house, and with the right boat and mindset you can challenge yourself on very easy water, even flat-water. For me it was the Antix. I realized that I couldn’t stern squirt on my left side. and that I could hold the stern squirt vertical spinning on the eddy line on either side, etc… Working on this can keep you busy for a long time, and through all the learning process, you enhance your boat control and core strength that you will use when back on class 4/5.

Wish you to BEAT the weekend warrior, and to be your best self!