|Photo from Kokatat's blog: Destination Torngat|
But his lates film made me think even more about the lessons of kayaking relating to life. The film centered on an expedition to a remote part of Canado to kayak a river with amazing waterfalls and difficult rapids. The paddling required phenomenal skill, but the grueling nature of the approach impressed me the most. The team hiked for hundreds of miles, carrying hundred-plus pounds of kayak and gear on their shoulders, through mosquito infected arctic tundra, up and down hills, video-ing the action all the while. It was bad-ass.
It didn't look especially fun. They looked miserable during the hikes. There were comments about being more tired than ever before and hating life and the bugs that ate them up. All for some whitewater to kayak. Don't get me wrong, the kayaking looked amazing, but I live in California and there's some pretty amazing kayaking just up the road, whatever road you end up on. I certainly haven't done a lot of the high sierra classics, but I know that they match up to anything in the world. So why spend all that time and effort, why face all that pain and agony, just to kayak some similar but slightly different rivers?
Because the pain is part of the pleasure. Most of us enjoy something a little more when we have to work for it. The effort sharpens our appetite and adds to the flavor. For most of us, this combination is best taken in moderation. We love a cold beer after a hot paddle, a ice cream sundae after an evening run, a bonus for an extra effort at work. We want to know the world rewards hard work and a sense of self-satisfaction is hard-wired by evolution. It's part of what makes us human and is a very good thing because it's the source of much that is great in the world.