There's a Zen story about an eager student who asked his teacher how long it would take for him to reach enlightenment if he meditated every day. The teacher answered, "ten years". A bit disappointed by this answer, the student asked how long it would take if he doubled his efforts. "Twenty years" the teacher replied.
I remembered this story when I got out of my bright-orange kayak. (Yes, I have a Zen parable for every occasion.)
An hour earlier I had sat down in the kayak. I was, as always, anxious to overpower the kayak and the nearly-still stream. I paddled really hard but found myself going round and around and generously splashing water on myself and my fellow kayakers. (It's a good thing most of us don't row to work. Imagine the water rage.) Blaming my utter lack of control on my obviously-defective paddle, I switched grips to find the most optimal position so I could conserve energy and glide elegantly. Instead, I did more circles and crashed into the thorny bushes every two minutes.
Twenty minutes later, I got tired of trying. Lack of fitness can be such a good thing. I put down my paddle, sat back and watched dragonflies dancing merrily on the sparkling surface of the water.
Birds chirped (one of them shrieked), the unruly grass growing on the bank swayed, kayakers paddled and without interference from the paddle, I floated downstream, absolutely straight, just like I had wanted to.