Day 6: Relaxation - Rollo, Rollo de su Barco!

Trip Start Feb 06, 2009
Trip End Feb 14, 2009

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Where I stayed
Aventuras Sin Limite
What I did
whitewater kayaking

Flag of Mexico  , Veracruz-Llave,
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I got a late start today because I opted to skip breakfast because I was feeling queasy, probably from getting river water in my mouth yesterday. The girls had a "Mexican Mcmuffin", a tortilla with ham, cheese and salsa roja for breakfast.

I also had my massage appointment with Roxy at 8:30 a.m. She set her table up in the courtyard at Aventuras. Everyone else was at breakfast so I was able to relax while surrounded by tropical flowers and bananas in the courtyard. Roxy specializes in several types of massage and she asked me what I would like. I told her my back is usually tight and to use whatever type she thought necessary. She got out a beautiful lemon and citrus smelling oil and applied it to my back. I tend to carry tension in my shoulders and in-between my shoulder blades and Roxy immediately found my hot spots. It always amazes me how massage therapists can just find where you are hurting and even when they can find places on your body that you didn't even knew hurt.
Roxy used deep tissue massage and worked out knots in my shoulders, between my shoulder blades and in my lower back. She also found some deep knots in my hips. Deep tissue massage hurts and I found myself wincing a time or two but its great because it improves your overall flexibility. She told me I was going to need to drink alot of water throughout the day. My massage lasted about an hour and a half and cost 450 pesos...about $45.00 American...that's insane! I wish the massages around my house were that cheap!
I was really relaxed and felt alot more limber and just in-time for yoga. Today we hiked up the hills behind Jalcomulco to the beautiful thatched palapa that overlooks the Antigua River. It was an absolutely beautiful spot to do yoga. You could her the river below, the breeze kept us cool and the butterflies were flying in and out on their way to the trees below. Since we were working on rolling in the afternoon Anna focused on stretching out our hips, our core muscles, and our shoulders since those are the primary muscle groups used. Eileen also joined us today and took pictures of our yoga session since all 8 of us were participating and the location was gorgeous.

After yoga we took some pictures of the giant cactus around the palapa and also some of the beautiful flowers, we then hiked back down to Aventuras. I had some time before lunch so I got a shower to get some of the massage oil off of me.

At 1:00 p.m. we had lunch at Esprit. Today we had quesadillas with salsa and sour cream, melon water, water and cookies. After lunch we got changed into out river gear and returned to the Centro de Kayak 360 Mexico for our rolling lesson in the pool. I noticed that a little while after I ate I started to feel very queasy again. I don't know for sure but I imagine that I got a mouthful of river water and that may have made me sick.
Anna first began by reviewing eddy turns, ferries and peel outs on a whiteboard to better illustrate the angle we needed to maintain when attempting these maneuvers. Once everyone understood the concept we began dry land roll training.

What that entailed was us sitting in our kayaks on dry ground in all of our river gear and reviewing the motions of the sweep roll. There are several types of rolls that can be used in a kayak. The C-to-C Roll, Sweep Roll, Extended Paddle Roll, Back Deck Roll and the Hand Roll. Each has their own unique pros and cons. We were being taught the Sweep Roll and that made me happy because that is the roll I had been working on at pool session with my local club.
Anna really had a great way of teaching the sweep roll and I found myself wishing that this would have been the way I was taught from the get-go! She started by demonstrating the "finish position" which is of critical importance because if you aren't looking down or your hands are in the wrong position it will cause your roll to fail. We did this motion several time to instill muscle memory. Then she showed us the set-up position and how to sweep away from the kayak while keeping your back arm tucked in and to make an arc in the air and to go to the finish position, it was that simple.
While practicing this Anna and Milissa were able to identify what I was doing wrong that sometimes caused my roll to fail...I was pulling with my back and arm and not keeping it tucked in. They taught me a trick to help correct me, they told me to pretend I had a diamond in my left armpit that I didn't want to drop. By keeping my left arm tucked in I was keeping the paddle in the correct position and also my head down allowing me to roll my boat!!!

After we did enough practice on dry land Anna, Mil and Karine called us into the pool to work one-on-one with them. I started with Karine and we began with false sweeps and slowly worked our way toward a full roll. Sometimes it worked for me and sometimes it didn't. I was still having trouble breaking my bad habit of pulling with my left arm but slowly it was coming along. On my second attempt with Milissa I decided to try one of the Esprit's 0 degree paddles. I had been using my Ty Warp 45 degree offset paddle but I had just bought a new Werner Player 0 degree paddle and wanted to try one of those since I was going to be paddling with a 0 anyway. As soon as I used to 0 degree paddle I rolled twice with no problem at all! I was so psyched! Almost all of the ladies got atleast one roll in the pool so it was a very productive afternoon. We were there for about two hours.
After rolling in the pool we all drank some cervezas at the pool side to celebrate. We then returned to Aventuras where we sat in the hammocks and talked until it was time for happy hour at Esprit.

Back at Esprit we watched our video review and pictures from the last few days including our zip-line tour! All the pictures came out great and they got video of me rolling in the pool! For happy hour tonight our drinks were water and lime water since we needed to keep hydrated for the temezcal later in the evening. Our appetizers were sushi rolls, wasabi and soy sauce. Once again after I ate I got that rumbly stomach feeling.
Once happy hour was finished we went back to Aventuras Sin Limite and changed into our bathing suits for the temazcal. A temazcal refers to both the dome shaped sweat lodge and the ancient Aztec purification ritual thought to purify the body after exertion that is performed in the temazcal. Roxy, the massage therapist, was our water pourer for the ceremony. She smudged us prior to entering the temazcal with copal as a blessing. Once we were inside the temazcal we sat around the fire pit in a circle, Roxy came inside and explained what was going to happen. Mario brought heated volcanic rocks inside and they were placed in the fire pit and Roxy poured water over them to create steam.
She told us the ceremony takes place in four stages or doors and that after passing through each door more rocks would be added and the temperature would go up. At the first door Roxy asked each of to introduce ourselves and to tell everyone what they were grateful for...this got emotional! Every woman had something wonderful and heartfelt to say. I was in a near life ending car accident 10 years ago and I couldn't be more grateful for my family who stuck it out with me and watched me endure 3 months in a coma and another 9 months learning to walk again....I reduced the group to tears. But that was part of what this ceremony was about. Mario was called in and more volcanic rocks were added, they glowed and crackled from the was almost hypnotic to watch them. At the second door Roxy said a prayer in Spanish and once again more rocks were added. You could feel the temperature rise yet it wasn't suffocating. At the third door as Roxy prayed we were told to think of a word or a trait that we wished to embody and hold it in our minds. Mine was perseverance, I've done a good job persevering through alot already but I think its a good principle to hold onto when things get tough or frustrating in my life. Mario came in again and added more rocks....this last door you could really feel the heat pick up. The sweat was just pouring off of us but it felt really good. As the last rocks were added and Roxy sang a song in Spanish and we were told to join in you could really feel the heat rise, it was getting harder to breathe but we sat in there for over an hour. Everyone came out feeling great and we all though it was a very positive and spiritual experience.

When our temazcal was finished we were told to run into the showers and put the water on cold to cool ourselves down and to close our pores. We then changed and Roxy had made us some fantastic lemon-grass tea to have.

We slowly made our way down to La Pizzeria, where we were having dinner tonight. La Pizzeria is owned by Jalco Expediciones another rafting outfitter in town and where Gabby works. Here we were served greek salad with feta cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette, there were Hawaiian pizzas, Tomato & Basil pizzas, Cheese pizzas and pfeterols for dessert. Everything here tasted so great and was so fresh, they don't rely on fat to make things taste good...just good fresh ingredients.

We sat around talking about kayaking for quite awhile heather showed everyone how to play flip cup. We had fun flipping cups up and down the table. There were alot of laughs in that courtyard! Quite a bit later we finally said good night.

Back at Aventuras I got a shower, sat in the hammocks and talked and went to bed early since I was still feeling so queasy.

Things Learned on Day 6 in Mexico:

1. Deep Tissue Massage is a type of massage therapy that realigns deep layers of muscle and connective tissue. Its used for chronic tense and stiff areas of the body as well as areas of injury.

2. There are several types of rolls that can be used in a kayak. The C-to-C Roll, Sweep Roll, Extended Paddle Roll, Back Deck Roll and the Hand Roll. Each has their own unique pros and cons.

3. The Finish Position in the roll is critically important because if you aren't looking down or your hands are in the wrong position it will cause your roll to fail.

4. A temazcal refers to both the dome shaped sweat lodge and the ancient Aztec purification ritual thought to purify the body after exertion that is performed in the temazcal.

5. La Pizzeria is owned by Jalco Expediciones another rafting outfitter in town.
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