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Chicago man takes up kayaking after being laid off mid-pandemic, logs more than 1,000 hours

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All that reflective time on the water has led Jonathan Castañeda to pursue a career change, too.

Video Transcript

JONATHAN CASTANEDA: I started this during the pandemic, and I've logged a little bit over 1,000 hours so far. So I launch out of this beach here at 31st Street in Chicago about two times a week.

Kayaking was one of the sports that I saw that had an only opportunity during a pandemic. Being out there in the water, you're out by yourself. There's nothing but you and your mind. Usually when I'm out here kayaking I have a certain playlist.

[MUSIC - FRANK SINATRA, "MY KIND OF TOWN"]

My top favorite, most definitely, would be Frank Sinatra.

FRANK SINATRA: (SINGING) This is my kind of town. Chicago is my kind of town. Chicago is--

JONATHAN CASTANEDA: It's been a difficult time during this pandemic, me being out of work. I worked in the restaurant business. I definitely had time to think a lot about refocusing. When I'm on the water, and you're out there for two or three hours and you're just out there enjoying yourself, there's a lot of time to rethink, refocus, prioritize.

This pandemic has taught me to reevaluate many things. And it made us refocus what our jobs are doing, our careers. It made me refocus more into my engineering, mostly trying new industries like day trading and trying to figure out a way to monetize on bringing revenue for our household. Kayaking has been a very good example of a good sport to pick up during pandemic times.