There are few things in the paddling world that out-weigh everything else in this lifestyle, not much, but some. For some, it’s the person who has never sat in a kayak and when they finally did they fell in love with it. One of the other joys is showing that person the basics of kayaking. Almost every day I go to work is a fun day, but the other day I had a chance to take a very sweet lady out on her new kayak for the very first time. A customer that was so sweet that when she asked me if I would show her some basics in loading and unloading the boat, holding her paddle and explaining to her how you deliver each stroke of the paddle in the water. It literally took about 30 seconds to see the joy on her face. She was yelling and hooting and saying she was having the time of her life, and this was only a basic lesson, I could only imagine what she was going to be like when she takes her first, day trip.
Every day I seem to be rewarded by the reactions of people who buy their first boat, trade in their first boat for a bigger better boat and take their first float. Becoming a paddler no matter if your advanced or novice is an entry to a large family of fun, nature loving people. It is hard to find a paddler that is not excited to see another paddler. Hell, you can even spot them in a grocery store, gas station or restaurant, you just know that person is a paddler. I don’t know what it is, but it is just a feeling you get. Every day I am surrounded by these people which makes my life about as perfect as it gets, minus some palm trees and sandy beaches. Am I getting rich financially, no, but being part of the paddling culture makes me the richest man in the world. I wake up knowing I am going to see smiling faces and be around the water. There is the old saying “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life” and I believe in this.
Sandy, the sweet lady I gave some basic lessons to left knowing she invested in something that is going to give her joy for a long time and that to me out weighs any bad day I have had in a long time. It also touched me so much to be able to help her out that I promised her that I would go with her and her brother on a short day float with her. Then I hope to show her how to deflate the lumbar pad in her seat so she can wear her PFD more comfortably.