Kayaking is actually going to kill me.
What happened (as people have told me, I have next to no recollection) is we were on white water again, and we came across a bit of a water fall, no more than six foot. The safety were all out to make sure we went down the right bit as the river was very low and there were a few rocks. I managed to go down the right bit, but upon meeting the water again nosedived the kayak, flipped and got trapped under water.
I was not the only one to do this, a fair few of us did. They simply pulled their deck and escaped, but my instinct is still to flip my head up. I am not able to pull my deck because my instinct is to get your head up and when I can’t, I start to panic from lack of oxygen and the shock of suddenly being submerged in what is rather cold water. By the time they got me up, I’d been underwater for about 15 seconds, and in that time I’d lost consciousness which never bodes well. But I came round fairly quickly, and as a lifeguard myself I wasn’t too concerned about anything as I had nothing to indicate to me at the time that anything was badly wrong. So I had chocolate, got back in the kayak and carried on.
Skip forward a couple of hours and I’m in A&E being treated for possible secondary drowning. But for what it’s worth, I’m fine. I’m physically fine.
Mentally? No. There’s no way I’m going back on white water without being able to pull my deck as an instinct. I can’t rely on safety, not only is it completely unfair on them, but there will be times they can’t get there. I am the only person in the club who can’t pull their deck. It’s stupid, it’s ridiculous, and I should be able to. Am I really that stupid that I can’t save my own life?
My instinct is to breathe, but I can’t do what I need to to enable it.