This whole kayaking thing is a mental mess.
Decisions are hard to make,
Waterfalls are fun, Waterfalls are dangerous.
Big water is scary but sieves are scarier.
Portaging sucks but sometimes the best thing you can imagine.
Sometimes your friends back out on you, sometimes you back out on your friends.
They run shit you don't, you run shit they don't.
No one is necessarily right.
Seeing that other people are running cool shit and you are sitting at home watching it snow is lame.
Rain sucks, 80 and sunny is awesome.
There are people out there that are better than you, people that are worse, people that talk it up, people that don't, people you can teach, people you can't, People that can teach you, people that can't, people that scare you, people that are scared and people that are crazy.
It is hard to get a crew together that you can vibe with
It is hard to meet up with them.
And most of all:
Gas is expensive.
One day I am gonna figure all this stuff out: when to ditch a trip, when to portage, and who to call, and when, and feel solid about it all.
Richard Montgomery once said "Sometimes I feel schitzophrenic, here I am, a professor at UCSC but sometimes those kayaker tendencies come up and I just want to ditch it all to be in the woods and run some rivers." and I think that is the game we all play. At some point we all come back to society to play the cultural game. Some stay longer than others, but we all have the real world to deal with. Injuries, money, responsibilities all mock us with there needs. In our minds kayaking somehow is a viable escape, but it is within this balance that the beauty of both is revealed, that the balance increases the joy of each. The safety and completeness of home and friends, lovers; the clarity and singularity of purpose of kayaking. Each more beautiful in the contrast of the other.
These balances change and shift as we burgeon as people and athletes. So will the game. I don't have any answers to these balances, I am just writing to shed light on my own mental struggle and perhaps move forward one more step.