Kayaking is going well. Since my last Pubski update I've attained a foundation safety/rescue certification and also learnt to roll. The mechanics of rolling a kayak all add up to a surprisingly effortless move if you do them correctly, though it can take a while to wrap your head around them all. Being upside down underwater probably has something to do with that.
I've ridden my first grade 1/2 rapids and started really feeling the purpose of all the strokes and moves I've practiced on flat. Reading a river is a challenging but fascinating task. It puts into perspective how you can be effectively 'blind' to all sorts of potentially vital information if you don't know what you're looking for or at. I'm currently looking into buying my own kayak and gear now.
Music is a mixed bag. I've been getting piano lessons for a year now and gone from grade 1 to 5 in that time. I'm pretty happy with that progress and looking forward to improving more. Taking the formal approach to learning piano has also improved my self-taught guitar playing as well. I'll post a piano video sometime soon.
On the other hand, I feel in a bit of plateau with my composition. Earlier this year, I was really challenging myself to write complex material. Exotic scales, key changes, time signature changes, long arrangements, etc. This approach, whilst teaching me a lot, resulted in the music sounding a bit contrived. It definitely had a vibe of trying too hard. It didn't sound like anyone thing or person; it had this weird vague identity to it. Not to mention that it's draining to constantly filter and force my ideas through a criteria of complexity and novelty. It definitely burnt me out.
In reaction to this, I spent the last couple of months being less judgemental in this sense and writing stuff that comes more naturally to me. This has undoubtedly resulted in more solid music and it's gotten good reactions. But at the same time, it's left me feeling somewhat unchallenged, like i'm just going through the motions. Still, getting there, gradually. This shit takes a long time and I've worked harder at it this year than any year previous. So I can find motivation from that.