The canoe drops into the water of Timber Lake with a small splash. Jamey Parks follows, slipping smoothly into the one-person outrigger with what he only recently learned is a too-small oar in hand.
The 36-year-old continues to talk; his voice growing fainter as he pulls the rig — a thin canoe with an arm attached that provides stability — further into the lake. It’s been almost a week since he’s been in a boat, and he’s a little stiff. But he needs to work the kinks out and begin training again, since he races in Raleigh in just four weeks.