Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Kayaking through London Canals with Secret Fitness

It's a Friday evening. I'm wading through the rush hour and rushing to catch the tube to Central London to meet up with few folks from the Love Pop Up Community. There is a secret man who'll be there we are told; it's all very hush hush!

I reach just in time and there outside the Angel station standing in the middle of eager adventurers is Chris from Secret Fitness.

Founded by Chris Saw, Secret Fitness presents unique sporting & fitness experiences set in secret locations throughout London to encourage people to break away from the ordinary, find a life outside of London’s gyms, offices, and discover exciting new and unusual activities that will build both confidence and fitness.

Knowing that it is a secret fitness event, I'm a bit anxious. But Chris gives all of us a warm welcome, puts us at ease and then leads us into the unknown. We walk past buildings, cars and people. I am trying to look for hints, what could our fitness activity really be? And ten minutes of curious walking later, I see the lovely Regent's Canal.

I guess boating and as we walk closer I see life jackets. So, is that it?

I don't know yet. We get on a motor boat... Ooo...I smell adventure!

We are stopping now; I see a floating boat that read Water Gipsy Yoga, then more life jackets, paddle bards and a kayak!

Hi Chris!
Chris finally reveals the big secret, "We are going Kayaking" he says with a cheeky grin. Ripples of excitement float through all of us. We quickly pull out the paddles, tighten our life jackets, and head to our kayaks.

I stand there, unsure for a second, the paddle is almost 6 foot long, and the kayak really narrow. "It's been on your bucket list for so long, brace up and enter" I say to myself. And in I go.

Few of us have done kayaking before and I already see them padding confidently, while I congratulate myself on not tipping over. I grip the paddles strongly, as instructed, a little wider than shoulder length. Then raise the paddle to put it over the head. Elbows making right angles - check! Paddles facing the right sides, curve side digging in, then slightly rotate your wrist and the left side paddle curve digging in - check! Knees bent upwards and outwards, back straight and leaning forward - check!

"Use your torso to move along with the motion, left to right, along with the paddle" Chris says giving us the final instructions.

I can see why Secret Fitness have chosen Kayaking as their sporting activity today, and am ready for a full upper body and core workout!

We all kayak down the tunnel at our leisurely pace. I take sometime to get the hang of it, and though the technique comes to me slowly, I am unable to get the boat to go at a faster pace. I don't mind taking the odd break here and there when I feel my arm muscles tire; it's a beautiful view from where I am - waterfront pubs are buzzing, ducks are quacking and the golden Sun is bouncing off the gentle currents.

We kayak down the canal from one lock to the other, returning back to the base with lovely photo opportunities between which Chris helps us take (all our phones are locked away at the base office).
I am already knackered by now, but Chris suggests some games and the energy eves sprout back. Few get their game faces n and are ready fr the actin. We play a game of tag with a ball, water polo while on the kayaks dribbling the ball from the paddles, and a few races.

I crack up as I'm unable to manoeuvre the boat and head directly towards Rumbie as she tags me. 

Made some new friends! Say Hi! to Rumbie

The Love Pop Ups London community
The evening is drawing to a close, but Chris has a surprise treat waiting for us! Having worked up an appetite we relish the yummy nut butter cookies from Gato and Co. Chris tells us more about how he started Secret Fitness, his background as personal trainer, and how they have four fun fitness activities panned till date in different secret locations with pans to add more.

I am smiling, basking in the thrill of having my first adventure with the kayak, and knowing it won't be my last!

Want to book a Secret Fitness Activity? Check out www.secret-fitness.co.uk/tickets
Know more about Islington Boat Club, a charity that keeps the youth and adult communities engaged through water sport activities!

This experience was a free invite provided by Secret Fitness and Love Pop Ups London. 

Thanks for reading. If you liked my post, leave a comment below, tweet me some love, or come say Hi! on Instagram.

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  1. Okay, that is officially awesome. I wish we had a secret fitness activity around me!

  2. Oh my, what an adventure this must be. Absolutely loved reading about it. I did canoeing once because I couldn't muster enough courage to go alone 😅 it definitely is an excellent workout.

  3. Oh this seemed like so much fun. And you did get the hang of it if you could play games while kayaking! I was hoping for a video and there it was! A secret fitness club is a wonderful idea.

  4. Ooo this is exciting. Wasnt aware of canals in London. And kayaking thru it is one awesome experience indeed.

  5. This is fantastic. Quite an adventure.

  6. That is absolutely amazing. I would love to do this if I get a chance. With that Sun setting in the background, kayaking would have been surreal. :)
    What a great experience!

  7. This looks like so much fun and such a great way to stay fit and active! I'd love to go kayaking, it seems quite relaxing :) Thanks for sharing your adventures and glad you had a great time! <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com