Ack Ack Kayak!

So… I was at the Grade Seven camp a little over a week ago when I tried Kayaking for the first time. I enjoyed it tremendously. My wife hates me because of this.

She hates me because for years now she’s been trying to get me to go kayaking with her. When I finally did go on a whim without her, I wanted to go again. I really should listen to her the first time around…

As I mentioned yesterday- I put on a new Roof Rack on my Nissan Rogue. It was to prepare for the possibility of getting a kayak. My wife finished work at six last night and wanted to go price some kayaks out. I’d been looking online at places and prices earlier in the week, but it was my wife who wanted to go and search for herself. Unfortunately we only went to one place- Canadian Tire. Not my usual place to go shopping- however we do find some great deals on occasion- like our bbq grill about four years ago.

Anyways, window shopping for a kayak turned into buying a kayak. Make that buying two kayaks at a wickedly good price (they had them marked incorrectly but honored the price). These kayaks also came with oars and straps to take them away on the roof of my car. (As reference I found similar ones at Costco by the same manufacturer for $160 more each.)

I’m happy with the purchase to make our lives healthier. We just need to find the time to hit the water together.

And maybe my wife will forgive my ignorance all these years. Or she’ll drown me. Either way- we own a couple of kayaks now!

Map It Out

The map you read is not the land you travel.

I realized that no matter what map you follow- there is more to explore if you look around. I have often experienced more from life by just trying to figure out where I am by using landmarks. Maps are just “guidelines” for how to get somewhere. GPS doubly so. When I use the navigation in my car to get to places I’ve been before-it’s more just to see the time when I will arrive, not the route to use.

Maps help you get from point A to point B. They’re two dimensional. Maps don’t give you information on what you will see on your journey or the people you’ll meet. Sure looking online might show a landmark or recommend a sight to see, but that’s still not the land in which you travel.

Life is similar in many ways.

You map out a goal and figure out how to achieve it. There may be stops and detours along the way that your map didn’t show you. If you stay the course, you’ll get to the destination. Or maybe your destination will change. In which case you map out a new route. Just remember to check out the land in which you travel.

There’s more to life than just reaching that destination. Explore the world.

Behind The Successes

This weekend, as our son competes at his Speed Skating event, I realize there is so much more that builds up his success. This is the same for all athletes. And the same can be for our lives if we so choose.

The families and friends who hang in the crowds and support any way possible. From cheering loudly to hugs and high fives; early mornings and car rides; or traveling to different cities- there is always a group of people pushing and promoting. Words of encouragement go a long way mentally as well.

Then there are the coaches offering words of encouragement and advice. When taken to heart- these coaching moments can be extremely valuable. Coaching is a necessity to the betterment of all involved- be it given and received. A coach beams with pride the same way a player beams back gratitude. There is also a ton that goes on behind the scenes such as making sure equipment is ready and functioning.

Finally- there is the healthy eating. Eating the right fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water and keeping it up daily.

All of these are the basics of becoming the best athlete possible. It’s also a great way to live life. Get out there and be the best.

Just like Joe Esposito sang:

Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it

History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed

Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down.

The Zen Of Joe

Zen.

It’s something I’ve been practicing all my life. Just enjoying the moments all around me. Having fun without causing harm or emotional distress to others. If anything, I think I bring a smile to others by jumping out of a comfort zone and just… living.

I’m comfortable just being me and experiencing life’s moments. I also love to embrace personas and put on different hats to truly embody this. From how I act to the clothes I wear- I enjoy being me. There is no “one look” that defines who I am.

If I can bring joy to others while being who I am, that’s a bonus. I also act compassionate and kind as I forge my way through this world.

My enthusiasm and characteristics are effecting my children’s personalities as well. Especially our middle child. She has moments where she just wants to entertain herself and others.

When all is said and done, I’m glad I haven’t been afraid to just live the way I have.

Does Life Have Signs?

I’d like to think that I am in control of my actions. That I choose my own path. But I also try and force myself to engage in the signs around me- as if numbers or words could have a deeper meaning.

Today for example- a person in front of me had a patch on their jacket that says simply, “Follow Your Identity“. Which is interesting advice and relatively easy to accomplish. Like Popeye says, “I am what I am.”

I really don’t believe that there is something greater out there guiding us. It’s more a collective of all of your experiences, education and upbringing that sets our path. That being said, some people require others, or a god, or science to show them the way through life. If it brings them joy or enlightenment, I want people to successfully navigate life.

I don’t have all the answers. But I’m also not asking all those hard questions. I’ve got a way about me that works. A state of mind unique to who I am. Maybe I’m the one sharing signs for others. Or maybe I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes.

Like “Ace of Base“.

The Yearly Bad Day

Facebook shared with me some of my past memories of this day. None were good.

Nine years ago, we were without running water. Our pump had died because the pipe from the well had collapsed. We were about one week without water.

Eight years ago, our computer died and I backed up photos. Unfortunately, what I backed it onto died two years ago. Now my wife “kindly” reminds me that I destroyed her memories of the kids.

Seven years ago, I ripped out a breakfast nook and worked to stucco our wall followed by installing a new floor. Seems I punish myself by doing renovations before Christmas on a regular basis.

Five years ago I talked about how I was being cranky and mean to my children. This one hurts emotionally.

Three years ago we received and Xbox. I played poorly and ate Halloween candy for dinner because I felt like crap. A realization that I am not a gamer kicked in.

Last year I spent the day in the hospital and got a CT Scan. It was followed by a trip to a pub with terrible service thus ending a frustratingly long day. But my results were positive.

Looking back, I realize that I have overcome a decade of frustrating events. Hopefully tomorrow my memories on Facebook are more pleasant. I can’t wait to see them. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right?