Search for a new hobby complete

Published 10:37pm Thursday, July 12, 2012

Since arriving in Selma in early May, I’ve been searching for a hobby for my occasional off-days and my Sunday afternoons.

I tried taking up golf with Ashley a few weeks back. We were decent and had a good time, but neither of us was convinced it was our calling, especially after shooting 100-plus rounds.

So the search continued.

At the Times-Journal, we frequent a porch that sits out over the Alabama River whenever lunchtime rolls around. So one day as we sat out there, I decided I wanted to purchase a kayak and go out on the river.

Back-story: I hate the water. And I hate to swim (mostly because I don’t know how to). I think I was traumatized during swim lessons as a child, so now I hate it whenever my head goes under the water. But still, I wanted to invest in a kayak.

So on the Fourth of July, I drove up to a sporting goods store in Tuscaloosa and purchased a 10-foot, bright yellow kayak. I felt like if — heaven forbid — I capsized my kayak, the fact that it was bright yellow would catch someone’s attention. I also bought a life jacket, for obvious reasons.

Tuesday was the first day I was able to take her out on the water, and I was determined to paddle my way from the boat ramp behind the farmer’s market to the Edmund Pettus Bridge and back.

My trip was [shockingly] successful and I was able to get a much better grasp of the Alabama River itself and some of the wildlife in the area. Whenever my arms would get tired — which felt like it happened about every minute — I would paddle over to the shoreline, get out and float in the river.

No alligators were seen, thank goodness, but I was able to spot quite a few birds and fish and such that I would’ve never seen had I not purchased the kayak.

Although I’m still sore today, some two days after completing my trek, I’m already looking forward to my next trip out on the water. I think I’ve found a hobby.

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