60% of the human body is water, 71% of this big round ball is water, it’s estimated that 50% of the world’s population live within 2 miles from freshwater “Paddleable or Not”, and 10% live within 6.5 miles. What the hell am I trying to say? Well, people obviously need water to live but, for some water is what we need for our soul to. This post may sound like I have gone “Full Hippie” on you but think about it. People go to a pool to swim on a hot summer day, some go to the creek to find that perfect watering hole. Some people take the family to the lake to enjoy a boat ride or tubing and wakeboarding. Some people hop on the boat to go for a morning fishing trip. For us, it’s paddling. No matter what you do on the water you do it because you enjoy it, it free’s up your head, it relaxes your mind and makes you smile. All this helps your soul.
For me, it is Stand Up Paddleboarding that helps me connect to the water and nature. The ability to stand up and paddle across the water is amazing. I mean, you can see a beautiful river by walking but who in the hell wants to do that. With each paddle stroke, your board glides quietly through the water and you’re able to look all around you and see nature. No traffic, no sirens, no phone calls, just you and natures soundtrack
Without exact numbers, you can pretty much guess that everyone you know is connected to an electronic device ie, Ipad, phone or laptop. Every day we check our Social Media, text’s, emails and calls. We are a zombie to our “Grid Led Life”. I am one of those, I am guilty of it. Being connected 24/7 can actually have negative effects on the mind and even the body. You start to rely on your device to stimulate your brain but all it does is overload your mind. You read a Political or religious Facebook post or Tweet and your blood pressure skyrockets. I am also guilty.
Road Trip “Semi” Disconnect:
In July my wife and I helped our friend Elissa ground crew for Shane “her husband” on the MR 340 race from KC to STL. This race takes you to some of the most rural towns and roads in Missouri. We were forced to disconnect from the connected world partially, we still needed to text each other directions or use our GPS but, for the most part, we were unable to check our social media accounts. We would also have to drive from checkpoint to checkpoint to help restock Shane and his 12 man team so this meant no time for facebook even if we could log on. For the first half of the first day, it was actually really sucky that I couldn’t reach down and read the latest political post or cool Instagram pics, it really was. But, after the first full day of having this semi-disconnected time I noticed something. I noticed that Nicole and I started having really deep and meaningful conversations. being disconnected forced us to have to talk to each other. Not that we don’t talk to each other now but there was no digital stimulation, just the river, nature, goofy people and funny things we seen as we drove. We would talk about different types of dreams of the future we had, what we might want to do with our lives, people hallucinating on boat ramps and tons of stuff that we would just see around us. Because we could not see what the cute puppy videos or what our friends were eating for the day we had to enjoy each others company. We did this for almost 3 days and when we got home, even though we were exhausted from lack of sleep our minds were refreshed. Well, to me it was, I hope Nicoles was. We sat on our couch and relaxed and talked pretty much about one thing, our week together, just that subject, well and what we wanted for supper. I can only imagine what a full disconnect for 3 or 4 days would do for the mind and body.
What the hell is my point:
My point about water and distance to water and disconnecting is most of us have the ability to disconnect daily if we wanted to. Grab a chair and head to a lake, grab a pole and head to the stream or grab a paddleboard and head to the lake or river, but leave your phone in the car or turn it to airplane mode “in case you actually do need to call for help”. just turn the ability to connect off for a couple hours. Take a digital camera or leave your phone on AP mode and use the camera, take pics of cool features, birds and stuff but also lower that camera and take mental pictures of the things around you and put them in your memory for future use.
Hell, I am writing this post “connected” but writing is with a background recording of a running stream and birds chirping and it’s is helping me focus, and it’s making me have to go pee. What I am trying to say is once you disconnect, even for a few hours and you immerse yourself in nature it’s like taking a Xanax but the only side effect is an addiction to wanting more and more which will lead to a happier life.
So, as confusing as this post may sound here is what you can take away from it
- The earth is mostly water
- We are mostly water
- Half of us live near water
- Water can sooth the soul
- Disconnecting from the grid can free our minds and cause us to think fresh
- Doing it on a SUP board is the coolest way to disconnect “Just Sayin”
Today’s environment is filled with busy minds, political climate, religious talk, and a lot of hate and to me its because we are so immersed in digital input that it brainwashes us and turns us into programmed zombies. I am guilty of this which is why when I get to do out on the water and just paddle, I get to recharge my mind and go home fresh and recharged for another day, or until I pick my damn phone up again. If you have the means to break away for a few hours a day or even a couple times a week, disconnect and reconnect with nature.