Dottie Hodges

How You Know You’re Training for Chattajack

When training for any endurance event, as things gear up, you could say life changes a little. The following are a few recent observations of said changes, with thanks to the Chattajack Back of the Pack community for sharing theirs ;).

You know you’re training for Chattajack when:

    • -You’re actually kinda stunned (and a little offended) when you say ‘Chattajack’, and Ev.Er.Y.One. doesn’t know what that means.
    • -You’ve started referring to the period from July to late October as “Chattajack Season”. As if the rest of the known would should understand.

Quick snack stop. You think bonking is bad? Try letting a 5 year old bonk. No thanks. Somewhere around mile 13 on the course/3 on our paddle.

  • -You start evaluating savory carb+proteiney diner meals like sushi and legitimately wonder, would THIS make a good CJ morning breakfast?
  • -Your “normal” friends who already thought you were strange really. Think. You. Are. STRANGE.
  • -You no longer sort your mail.
  • -You look at whatever home/garden/yard project you began excitedly early summer and think oh. So sad.
  • -You are happier when talking about Chattajack to a fellow paddler. Or friends or family. Oh ok. ANYONE. Checkout clerks, waiters, poor sot who got trapped next to you waiting on a car repair…
  • -You’re pretty damn tan, and that’s WITH wearing 50+ sunscreen on every paddle.
  • -You’ve nearly gone to blow a snot rocket in a streetclothes/non paddle situation and thought. Oops.
  • -You live out of your car. Is it missing? Try the car. Look in any of the 5+ half-packed-half-unpacked bags containing some combination of clothing (“regular” or “paddle”), shed jewelry, nutrition items, and sunscreen.
  • -There’s some strange mystery odor emanating from your car that you just. Can’t. Locate.
  • -You may have gotten busted by your boss working on stroke form from a rock. AT work.
  • -You get stoked when you see a ‘Ben Friberg posted to the group Chattajack 31 Mile SUP/Kayak Race’ notification email.
  • -If you ever carried a purse/manbag you’ve abandoned it for a hydration pack and/or drybag.
  • -Your dog/cat/pet of choice thinks you smell GREAT.
  • -Your dog/cat/pet of choice thinks your shins TASTE GREAT. Salty!!!!
  • -When you’re pressed for time on a weekday and only get in a quick 7 miles, and tell a (normal) friend you only got in a quick 7 miles, you realize how insane that sounds.
  • -When you paddle with a friend, they head home, and you keep on paddling.
  • -You have several “paddle outfits”. Yes, men AND women.
  • -You think you’re a math genius now due to all the calculations on time and distance you conduct on a regular basis.
  • -When you realize you’re working words like ‘glycogen stores’, ‘zone’ anything, ‘tempo’ into waaaay too many conversations.
  • -When you may or may not have made inappropriate jokes around all the elements that come into common discussions regarding paddle shafts.
  • -You could practically teach a course on Excel, because that’s where your training plan/log lives.
  • -You eat to paddle, and paddle to eat. Repeat.
  • -You have a “lucky” shirt/hydration bitevalve/totem/whatever that goes with you. Always.
  • -Your after-adjustment ice pack at the chiropractor involves five icepacks. Not just one. Five.
  • -You may or may not have created a map of the course with mileages, POI’s, a topography layer, a satellite layer, and frequent wind patterns. Like I said, you may or may not have done this.
  • thistle_bark-You’ve made friends – many of whom you’ve never met in person – who know your training routine down to what you ate on your last paddle.
  • -You know – and actually care – what said friends just ate on THEIR last paddle.
  • -You paddled as much as you could through the winter and look around on the river/sound/beach in summer and think hey – where’d all these people come from?
  • -Your coworkers and/or clients have taken an interest in your training, even if just to shut you the hell up.
  • -People (non-paddlers, natch) have stopped asking you to do anything on the weekends.
  • -Your office chair and desk situation were long ago replaced with an indo board and standing desk.
  • -When you flip through a copy of People and look at the ‘stars’ and think – who are these people? Your stars are in a totally different universe.
  • -Your dogs enjoy paddleboarding.
  • -You count post paddle river dip/surfsesh/quick swim as “showering.”
  • -You often skip shaving. Ref point above.
  • -If you have kids, you’re a little guffed that “back to school” season and all its associated activities falls within “Chattajack Season”. I mean come on. Really?
  • -You admire the appearance of a new and different blister with reverence and excitement.
  • -If you have kids, you’re delighted that they love paddling and training with you. They really love it, right? RIGHT KIDS?!?!
  • -You spontaneously drive 100’s or 1000’s of miles to a race. Cuz why not?
  • -Your board deck pad rarely dries out between paddles. Aaaaaand, kinda smells like it. Yes. We all know that smell.
  • -You’re a liiiiiitle worried about your sanity (and/or the safety of others) during your pre-race taper period. MUST. PADDLE. <panting>
  • -You’re a little annoyed with Starbucks for releasing the Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier this year. Please, people. Let summer go as long as she can.
  • -You’ve started to fear a little the coming of winter…thicker clothing, real shoes, less time on the water, and missing your paddle buddies near and far.


And the number one way you know you’re training for Chattajack?

  • -You’re stoked. Pretty much all the time J.