Mental and Physical Benefits of Kayaking by CJ Bennett | Nov 22, 2019 | Fishing Feature, JAdventures Main Banner | 6 comments The Benefits of Kayaking Dr. C.J. Bennett “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,” (Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows). Five years ago, my husband James and I found ourselves sitting on the bank of the beautiful Caney Fork River in Silver Point, Tennessee watching an older gentleman in a bright yellow kayak sit calmly and cast his fly rod perfectly across the placid water. We watched the man in silence for several minutes before I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Let’s get kayaks!” James looked at me with a half smile, seemingly surprised by my sudden, child-like enthusiasm to take up kayaking. We both smiled and laughed a bit, but neither of us brushed the idea off entirely. James’ wry smile was enough to let me know that I had a chance to carry through with my sudden inspiration to become a kayaker. Both my husband and I are career educators, with James having served as a teacher, coach, and high school principal before retiring and being elected as a school commissioner. I had spent 17 years in the classroom prior to serving as a school administrator, so James and I are both all too familiar with demanding and stressful careers. When I had loudly proclaimed my excitement about the need for us to get kayaks, James and I both knew that we needed a form of stress relief and a way to get more exercise. Kayaking wasn’t too far fetched. Fast forward a couple weeks later, and James and I found ourselves at a nearby Jackson Kayak dealer. We looked at every model that was available. I was fascinated by the color options, the application specific kayaks, the fishing kayaks, and I even toyed with the idea of getting a white water kayak. We decided since we had zero experience kayaking, we would stick with kayaks that were relatively stable and easy to paddle. After we selected the two Jackson kayaks that we wanted, we tied our new kayaks down in my husbands’ truck like the total novices that we were and drove home as excited as two kids on Christmas morning. Not only did kayaking prove to have stress relieving benefits for James and me, it also provided us with exercise that neither of us had been getting. But as fate would have it, shortly after our kayaking adventure began, James was hospitalized and had to have a stent placed in his heart to help open an artery that was blocked. I was scared for James’, and I was worried he and I might not be able to continue to enjoy our new hobby together even after he recovered. This hurdle could have stopped James and I from kayaking altogether, but thankfully, that was not the case. James’ cardiologist encouraged him to continue kayaking and getting out and exploring. Within a month after James’ stent placement, we were back on the water with James paddling his kayak like a champ. Since then, we have never stopped kayaking together. Kayaking opened up a lifestyle of adventure and exploration that James and I had not previously enjoyed. We were both tremendously focused on our careers for so long, neither of us really took the needed time to get away and just enjoy being outside. We had forgotten what it was like to have a hobby that we both could look forward to doing together. Over the years, our Jackson kayaks have taken us on so many amazing adventures. We have kayak fished along the Forgotten Coast of Florida, Coastal Georgia, through the mountains of east Tennessee, and we have spent so many hours on the beautiful waters of Rock Island State Park near our home in McMinnville, Tennessee. James and I have caught Bass, Sea Trout, as well as Muskellunge on our kayak fishing adventures. This incredible sport has kept us healthy, and it has provided us both with a hobby that has allowed us to take a break from the day to day stress that we have encountered in our professional lives. The peace that paddling our Jackson kayaks has given us is truly priceless. The memories that James and I have made on the water together are absolutely irreplaceable. If you are thinking of getting into kayaking for the first time, either for recreational paddling, kayak fishing, or even whitewater, don’t be afraid to tackle the unknown. If you have concerns about your health, use your new interest in kayaking as an excuse to get checked out by your doctor and make sure you are good to go before you hit the water. Likewise, if you are concerned about the costs associated with kayaking, Jackson Adventures now has a means to provide customers with financing options which make it easy to get out on the water. https://www.jacksonadventures.com/financing/ Check out www.jacksonadventures.com to create your own adventure today. 6 Comments Bill Ludeman on November 22, 2019 at 6:32 pm I consider serenity the primary purpose of my kayaking. An hour or two in my local backwaters adds years to my life. Last month I had serious health problems and spent a week in ICU. I lost 12 pounds in six days and came out very weak. It took several weeks to get back on the water and it was immensely satisfying to just get out and paddle aimlessly down the river for an hour Coming back it started raining and got windy and cold. Would not have traded that trip for anything. Beats being in a hospital bed with tubes stuck all over me. My Big Rig is some of the best therapy ever invented.. I know most are fishing boats but mine is for peace and balance with a bit of adventure for icing on top. A few months ago I led a group with two teens and two old guys for a few hours on the same river – it was hectic getting organized but in the end everyone was smiling ear to ear. Priceless mini adventures. In addition to my Big Rig I also have a Kraken and three other brands of kayaks – just in case others need therapy. Reply Steven Biles on November 22, 2019 at 6:52 pm What a great start to your adventure. It’s all about the journey. Reply Tim on November 22, 2019 at 8:24 pm Great article, a wakeup call to many. I went from an 18′ Ranger to a kayak and have never regretted it. Reply Shawnee L Heckman on November 23, 2019 at 12:23 pm Your story is so similar to my husband and I. We both started kayaking as as way to reconnect and get some stress relief. Kayaking has definitely brought us closer as a couple. Thank you for your beautiful story and reminding us of why we love this hobby and why we love our Jackson kayaks! Reply Steve Burnell on December 6, 2019 at 9:46 am Great article. This article always reminds me of a phrase that runs through my head on my drive home from a day on the kayak when the fish count was low. “I have sometimes regretted not catching more fish on my kayak, but I have never regretted going fishing on my Kayak!” The peace and serenity that I experience when I hit the water cannot be expressed with words. A person has just got to try it for themselves. Reply Redhawk on December 25, 2019 at 3:05 pm Awesome story. I wonder if you had discovered kayaking years earlier, James could have avoided needing a stent. My wife and I started kayaking a couple of years ago. We have a Coosa HD and two Cruise 10’s. Kayaking has introduced us to a great new way of relaxing. All worries, concerns, aches a pains disappear when we are on the water. We’ve spent a lot of time backpacking and hiking the Pacific Crest Tail, John Muir Trail and the Grand Canyon. Also a lot of years traveling the country on a Harley. I have to say, although we had a lot of fun and great adventures, none were as relaxing as the adventures on a kayak. Jackson Kayaks are great and I’m so glad that we started with them. A bad kayak could discourage some from perusing and enjoying a wonderful sport. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.