Carthage coach kayaks to campus
You’ve heard of carpooling to work, you’ve heard of biking to work, but have you heard of kayaking to work? That’s exactly what Carthage’s Head Men’s Swimming and Diving Coach, Seth Weidmann, has done since spring 2021.
During the pandemic last summer, Coach Weidmann and his wife decided to go from two cars to one. His wife has a longer commute, so she got the car, meaning Coach Weidmann needed to get creative with his commute. “That’s what spurred the idea of kayaking to work.”
Since moving to Kenosha seven years ago, Coach Weidmann and his wife have spent much of their free time canoeing on Lake Michigan (including stopping by Carthage’s campus to enjoy the view), so transitioning to the 30-minute commute by kayak was an obvious choice for a one-person form of transportation.
Much like a typical commuter, Coach Weidmann has options when planning his route between campus and his house: Lake Michigan or the Pike River. “Deciding which route to take is mostly weather dependent. If it’s windy or choppy on the lake, the Pike gives me the option to have a much smoother paddle.”
But that’s not to say that the Pike is smooth sailing. Coach Weidmann recounts that at times because the river water is so high, he can barely fit between the water and the bottom of the bridges that run over the Pike. “There sometimes is truly only enough clearance for me to lie down completely flat, with my nose an inch from the bottom of the bridge, and push my way through with my arms.” Despite the challenges, Coach Weidmann says the view from the Pike gives him a beautiful perspective of campus that he enjoys while paddling.
Natural occurrences provide other challenges for Coach Weidmann, namely, the bugs. When he first started kayaking to Carthage, he would avoid taking the Pike River route because he assumed the bug situation would be worse there than on Lake Michigan, but he quickly found out that this was not the case. “There are a lot of little flies that are hatching at the surface of the lake water,” Coach Weidmann says.
He states that, by the time he has finished his commute, his entire face is covered with insects. “I probably look legitimately scary,” Coach Weidmann says with a laugh, stating that the commute is not for the faint of heart. While the days when the flies are especially bad make him think twice about his commute, he says even on the worst days, the bugs don’t keep him from enjoying the paddle.
Because he lives so close to campus, Coach Weidmann’s favorite aspect of kayaking to work is the fact that it allows him to have a 30-minute commute rather than a three-minute drive. “A lot of people complain about their commute to work, but, to me, the benefit of having a long commute is that I have time every day to focus on myself and my workday and to relax by listening to podcasts or music.”
Coach Weidmann adds that he can’t get enough of the beautiful scenery he sees while paddling to work. “Seeing the campus and the amazing city that it is in, and seeing it from such a different perspective, reminds me how beautiful the campus is. It’s a huge benefit.”