Megan's Favorite Activity: Kayaking

By: Megan Landean, M. Ed.

My parents were born and raised in the beautiful state of Maine. Both went to the University of Maine at Orono, right along the Stillwater River and just a short drive from the Atlantic Ocean. Myself? Well, I was born in North Carolina- right on the coast. Of the nine places my family lived together, six of those places were on or near a major body of water. Seeing as we were always so close to the water, it's no wonder my parents didn't hesitate to spend so much time in (or on) it.

I first started out on an Old Town (duh, we are Mainers!) canoe. We would go out on the water to fish or just paddle around. I enjoyed the calming presence the lakes would have- so still and peaceful.

Next, after we moved to Okinawa, I graduated to kayaking in the ocean and rivers that fed into it. The clear waters of the Pacific Ocean were warm, welcoming and, obviously, awesome since you got to see everything swimming around under you.

Once we moved back to Maine my kayaking really took off. I loved going down the river with friends. I remember thinking, as a high school student, "wow we're so cool" when we'd kayak past the fraternity house docks and wave.

Since high school, my love for kayaking has only grown. I was an instructor in grad school, I've gone kayaking across Lake Erie to Canada, and I spend a majority of my time in the summers going up and down the Cuyahoga River and around Downtown Cleveland (shoutout 41 North).

For me, not only is kayaking a phenomenal workout, but it also has another side to it. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Hearing the diagnosis brought on a few feelings, including

1- More anxiety because I didn't want to have anxiety.

2- Relief because I finally was starting to understand my body and mind better.

Shortly after, I found myself out on the water. Then, it clicked for me why I might love kayaking so much. Being out on the water makes me feel steady and calm. Sure, the physical exertion of kayaking is unlike no other. But, I also loved how my mind would "release" every time I got out on the water. I was in control and nothing else seemed to matter except how I felt in that moment. I don't really know if it's the sound of the paddle breaking the water, being out in the open and exposed or something else, but I do know I find true peace being out there.

As someone who has a million things going on, like I'm sure many of you do, I can't stress enough the importance of finding something that is healing for your mind (added bonus if it's also good for your body!). Myself and everyone else at Trilogy would love to hear what helps your body and your mind! Share with us on Instagram or at Trilogycle.com.