Growing up occurs at different stages in peoples lives, for me I think it came when I realized that there are other positives and negatives besides those that result from kayaking. For me I started my nursing career this spring, it gives me loads of time off but I also have the stress of working all night long and having peoples loved ones in my hands, as well as having my own professional life in my hands.
The days of kayaking that were pure fun and when I wasn't worried were fewer this year than ever before, and the days in other aspects of my life where I had pure fun and worried about little were greater than ever before. Is this just a balancing of my life or am I shifting away from a sport that has defined my life for the past 5 years?
Maybe it is my true realization that I could die doing this, I have tried to rationalize my risk taking in kayaking by saying something along the lines of "I could get hit by a car tomorrow and die". Over the past few months this year the paddling community has lost many lives, it seems like a never ending horror story to go with the amazing feeling that kayaking brings us. I don't think I am afraid of dying but I am afraid of leaving my loved ones behind, what would it do to my parents? brother? girlfriend? My view of death is very black and white, your alive then you're not. In my opinion all we become is a chunk of cold organic matter that will be recycled into the earth, and I'm ok with that.
I hope that my fire for kayaking hasn't left my but rather took a hiatus this year. I am in the process of trying to plan how I will re-kindle that fire next season, weight lifting, cadio, more planned adventures, goals. I hope that next year will change my perception of my paddling ability, lifestyle and get back to the reason I started: for the fun of it.
Enough of my ramblings, here are some of my favorite shots of the year:
Tyson Titensor in BC
Rolf Kelly on the dean in BC
Sunset hiking into BC
Scott dent on bull lkae
Me on the north fork of the little wind, followed shortly by a scary experience
Sunset on the NFLW
Maybe my favorite trip of the year: the main salmon. Six days with four of my best friends