Traveling at fast speeds against the flow of water, your adrenaline pumps, heart races. And when you pass that finish line, you feel unstoppable. You're a kayaker.
Abram Hernandez: "It's awesome. It's the very first thing I've ever done in the water, after canoeing, this is my favorite thing."
Abram Hernandez learned how to kayak for the very first time today.
"I want you to hold your paddle like it is a shield."
Steve Starcher is his instructor. "toe to hip, toe to hip."
Starcher says all it's all about timing and technique when paddling. "You have to learn the basic skills and you have to practice, practice, practice, and we're fortunate here in the San Joaquin valley to have good bodies of water to paddle on."
"Rowing for first time, goes into water."
It's the beginning of what could eventually lead to a much larger scale -- the Olympics.
Kayaking, canoeing, rowing and sailing are some of the most anticipated water sports in London for the Summer olympics.
Kayaking and canoeing both include sprints and slaloms. In the slalom course, athletes paddle through white water rapids. The fastest overall time, wins.
Fanatics say winning this sport is a long shot for team USA, Europeans dominate this sport.
A water sport Americans have a shot at winning -- rowing. On a 2,000 meter course, the first boat to cross the finish line wins. In the 2008 summer games in Beijing, the women's team won eight gold medals.
And then there's sailing. For each race, a boat's position at the end of the race determines how many points the team will receive. A series of races are held in each event. Like the game of golf, the winner will have the lowest score.
Until the Olympic Games begin, Starcher's beginner students will attempt their first big kayaking challenge.
"What we have laid out today is a 200 meter course."
First timers say it's more than just a competition.
Maiyer Vang: "Very relaxing. It calms your mind."
The Kayaking and Canoeing competition get underway July 19th and goes through August 11th. Rowing starts on July 28th and ends on August 4th. Sailing will begin on the July 29th and wraps up on August 11th.
You can catch all the Olympic action on NBC's Olympic website by clicking here.