In Honor of SOC Nathan H. Hardy (SEAL)

These training sessions are dedicated to SOC Nathan H.Hardy (SEAL) who lost his life on Februaury 4, 2008 while conduction combat operations in Iraq. Have the courage to watch this video so that you can have a better understanding of who this man was and how he felt about protecting our freedoms. Today is Sunday and a rest day from the long paddle of yesterday. During the week leading up to Saturday I was concerned that emotionally I would not be able to do the scheduled 40 mile paddled. My concern was based on the fact that my mother’s funeral was scheduled for Friday night. To give me an extra reason to make the paddle I committed to a fellow Watertriber who goes by the name “Jarhead”  that I would meet him Saturday morning. I am glad I did it because sure enough I got very little sleep Friday night and the funeral did emotionally drain me. Not only did the presence of Jarhead get me out of bed and on the water but he sure helped me get my mine in the right place for the 7 miles he was with me. Jarhead thanks again. The paddle ended up being a 40 mile paddle primarily in the Hillsborough River. The paddle took 9 hours and 35 minutes which gave me a speed of 4.17 MPH. Other than continuing to test my fueling protocol I was also testing my new SPOT2 and the new SPOT procedures.  The insurance company for the UFC is now requiring contestant to not only have a SPOT and have it in track mode but also send an OK message every four hours. I set the new SPOT2 to send the same OK message to my Facebook account. Trying to make it as easy as I can for my wife to know where I am. She deserves that with all that she has had to put up with as I get ready for this event. In a future post I am going to talk about the important of a Watertriber’s support team.  That aspect is extremely important to your emotional mindset. Back to the Saturday training paddle. One of the things you learn in long distance kayaking is that because you are out on the water so long you have a very real possibility that the weather will change on you. Well Saturday re-enforced that point. When I started the winds were light with a chill in the air but other wise the start of a pretty day. About four hours into the paddle just as I was exiting the river the winds started to pickup. The other thing about kayaks is that you are so low to the water it is hard to judge wave height very far in front of you. I had a choice to turn around and head back up the river or go out into Tampa Bay and circle an island called Davis Island. I looked out into the bay and it didn’t seem that bad ( I had forgotten about that wave height thing. I am over fifty so I am going to blame it on old age versus a bad decision). Well the waves were bigger than I thought and the winds were increasing in strength much faster than I was paddling. I spent the next three miles battling a pretty lumpy sea that was caused by an ever increasing quartering sea and a rebound sea off a sea wall that circles the island. A much harder workout than I was planning but it was a good test of my abilities to stay upright in a place that provided a bailout alternative. I think I gave some very wealthy folks that live on that island a little entertainment. Who knows they might have been betting on whether I would stay upright or not.  After getting around the island I ended up going back into the river to get the mileage in. Even in the river the winds were strong and I was working harder than I wanted to but thankfully there were no waves.The training session for the other days of the week were  the following:

Thursday – Ellitical 3.8 miles – 33 minutes / Lift Routine 2  / 4 mile easy paddle – 5.1 MPH

Friday – Ran 3.6 miles in 33 minuets / TRX2 – 7 week routine

For the family of SOC Nathan Hardy, that included a young son, life has not been easy dealing with his loss. Please remember the name of this brave men. A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will make it easier for the families of fallen special warriors.