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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Changing Perspectives

Paddling with New River Academy has completely redefined how I think about river running. My worries are no longer my own, photos are a last thought, and rapids are no longer a way to express my skill but a way to demonstrate a technique or a venue for students to express their skill. I come last now. I am always sweeping, with the pin kit, first aid kit, and break down paddle neatly tucked away in my stern. It is a rare day that I get to pop out and take some photos. This is how I imagine it is to have kids. It is no longer for you, it is for them, what they want, but you are there to help guide them for what you believe to be what is best for them. You fight with them, you love them, you lose your logic, you lose your temper, you learn from them. I wish I could understand them. It is an endless cycle of mistakes and recoveries, learning what a teenager thinks is "fair", which apparently is different for each of them, but we have to figure out what rules apply to everyone. 

Head Coach Craig Kleckner showing a different line down the Watauga. 

Hunt "styling stouts with authority".

The biggest lesson this year? Don't take things so seriously. Nobody is dead or pregnant, and the sun is going to rise in the east and settle in the west, and we are going kayaking.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Talullah Gorge, Georgia

The hike into Tallulah gave me extra time to think on this particularly warm day in April. Here is a shot of the Put-in for the Tallulah, which is earned after 540 steps down a well maintained staircase. 
This great run only has water 8 days a year, a huge staircase and only room for two people to put on at a time. It makes for a long wait. The 90 minutes it took to get down to the water was more than enough time to get to pondering. On this particular day I was thinking about the past, as we are always wont to do. What choices have I made?  What could be different? We have a tendency to have some remorse about past decision sometimes, we repeat decisions in our head and try to play out the alternative scenarios. 
This kind of thinking is dangerous, it gnaws at us and pulls us away from our current situation. It has been shown that people who tend to ruminate are more likely to suffer from depression. We can't spend a lot of time questioning our decisions of the past if we want to be happy now. 

We need distractions from these thoughts, to break the cycle.

Oceana provides this kind of break.

We have to reconcile with the moment, and not the what ifs. It is not that we need to forget these decisions, in fact we must remember them and learn from them. But we must move past it, incorporate it into our self and move on.

This is what the Tallulah brought me back to. Oceana cleared the slate on the past and let me flow through to now. We have made the decisions we have and all we can do is learn from them and push forward to make the best decisions we can for the future. What we have is right now, what we have is effort in this present moment, to make the best of what is around, which is beautiful.