Most of my friends have been acquired through paddling. Everyone knows me as a kayaker. It's my identity. Many have expressed surprise, or even condolences, over my lack of kayaking. The thought of no longer kayaking seems crazy, possibly heretical, definitely depressing. How can someone whose entire life was built around a sport no longer pursue that sport? What about the livin' the dream? Again, the answer is fairly simple:
It was never about paddling
For fifteen years I worked in the kayak industry: selling them, teaching people how to use them, writing about them, playing around in them. But my dream was never about kayaking. My dream was to live a good life, be joyful, see beautiful places, soak up nature, find adventure and challenge all while surrounded by good people who cared for each other. Kayaking certainly brought me that, but it isn't the only path.
Now I get to relax (or collapse in exhaustion) in my own home at the end of a day chasing a baby around the house, I get to see the wonder of the world through new eyes, face the challenge of introducing peanut butter to an infant and figuring out how to teach her right from wrong, all surrounded by the most important people in my life who love me unconditionally and support me through all my travails. The dream is very much alive.