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WA bald eagle. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

Bald eagle flies over kayakers at Point Defiance, WA. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

When the going gets tough, the tough go … running? shopping? to bed?

Fill in the blanks for yourself.

The going has been tough lately, and I can’t sleep.  That’s not just broken sleep or restless sleep or troubled sleep, that’s no sleep at all at night.  (This continues to dismay me — I normally can sleep anywhere, any time, prone, sitting, standing, any posture.)

Since I can’t function without restorative sleep, I’ve come up with a solution:  Boot camp.

Nothing formal or expensive — I’m just boosting my daily exercise because this always helps me sleep, and strengthens my resilience to handle whatever I encounter during the day.

Day 1:  When the going gets tough, the tough go kayaking.

Kayaking at Point Defiance, WA. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

Kayaking off Point Defiance, WA. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

It’s my favorite way of staying fit, yet I don’t always make the effort.  Boot camp demands effort.

Found a place to rent a kayak for only $20 an hour — cheapest rate I’ve found in years.

The bonus is that it’s close to home, and open after work, and on weekends.

Added bonus:  Marine life. There are huge, white anemones here, bright orange sea stars, and ghostly sea stars hugging the pilings of the marina.

Sea stars and anemones at Point Defiance Harbor, WA. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

White anemones, pink sea stars at Point Defiance marina. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

Puget Sound has great visibility, which explains its popularity with scuba divers.  (I’m a diver, but don’t like cold-water diving much, so haven’t tried it here — yet.)

Water clarity was so good yesterday, I could see giant jellies, some with centers as yellow as egg yolks.  The largest had a center that was soft peach; s/he stayed near my kayak awhile, and I tried to paddle more gently.

There were paddleboarders, a few other kayakers, and plenty of swimmers.  The big car ferry was busy crossing the sound to Vashon Island.  There were far too many luxury speedboats, and an occasional yacht. Sailboats appeared, as if on cue, for postcard-perfect moments on the Sound.

Puget Sound jelly. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

We saw hundreds of these jellies, in all sizes, in Puget Sound, WA. (Hadi Dadashian photo)

The paddling was easy, because I avoided the strong currents off Point Defiance.

I built up a good, steady rhythm for about 10 minutes or so, then paddled as fast as I could for as long as I could.

A few minutes.

Don’t know how many calories I burned in one hour — don’t care.

I was just grateful to be in the waves again, on a sunny Sunday morning, discovering the wonders of Puget Sound.