I have been a supporter and an advocate for alternative modes of transportation for a long time, but I have not considered swimming as a mode of transportation. Students at Trinity Episcopal School have changed my way of thinking after they jumped into the chilly waters of the James River before school Monday morning.
OK, so they didn’t exactly commute to school by swimming and paddling. They were driven to the spot where they jumped in and they were driven back to school afterward. At least they were learning about alternative modes of transportation.
I was able to get on the river myself that morning to get photos and a couple of interviews before coming in to work late. The story wound up being the Metro section centerpiece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which was fun since I wrote the story and took the photos (not always easy to do, especially when you’re in the water). That is the right way to start a day for someone who loves to be outside — paddling while you work.
On two different occasions, I have paddled to work. I loved it. Yes, the commute takes about five times longer than it would by car and there is a lot of coordination that has to play in to getting my gear back home up river…but it was fun.
Now, if I am able to get the James River & Kanawha Canal reopened to paddlecraft, we’d have something we can work with — a water commute. Paddle down the river in the morning, paddle up the canal home at night. That sounds like a good addition to anyone’s fitness regimen.