This Blog

This blog is dedicated to explorations of spirit, life, adventure, and people. I hope that it encompasses much more than the actions of people, but rather creates a more complete picture of what it means to be an athlete and a person in the outdoor community.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Earning It.

Earning it. It is not just the amount of physical effort that you put into a trip or action that creates the emotional response of satisfaction, that feeling of accomplishment. It has more to do with time and the way that you have built up that particular accomplishment in your head.

After having paddled for a few years and doing rivers that people call classics, I have found that joy comes from how you look at the river, how you interpret it as a test piece, not from what other people tell you about the river. It is about whether you wanted it or not.

Think about times when you have felt satisfaction, think about how you have built up the events that lead to that satisfaction. It isn’t what someone else said would bring you satisfaction, it isn’t when someone else tells you that what you did was amazing(though that does bring a different sense of satisfaction), it is when you did something that you thought that you couldn’t do, thought was beyond you.

I have paddled for 8 years. There are only a few memories still salient after years of kayaking, memories that float above the others that I identify as my achievements in kayaking. These memories are not from “Classic” Rivers, they are local rapids that I first saw as an incipient kayaker. At the time I identified them as rapids that were unrunnable, rapids that I couldn’t even imagine being navigated.

We all accomplish things that we think are unattainable, unbelievable. We live impossible lives, becoming people we used to look up to, people we used to be amazed by. This is earning it.

I work at New River Academy.

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