March 07

Journey or Destination?

EndingThis past weekends Nantahala Racing Club Glacier Breaker competition, has been an early season litmus test of my pre-season fitness for decades. Held at the end of February, with longer, warmer days tantalizingly close, the competition tells me how hard I’ve worked over the Winter months and where I need to focus in order to prepare for a successful season ahead.

This same week, our paddlesports community also sadly lost a man that had such a ferocity for life and its endless adventures, that I both admired and envied him. His adventures took him around the World where he would quickly establish himself as legend and create the most incredible tales of outdoor adventure and leadership.

His passing on the same week as the Glacier Breaker has caused me to take pause. As athletes, are we too concerned with the destination rather than the journey? Are we too focused on the outcome of a competition rather than the process goal of getting to the start line happy, fit and ready for action?

Q: Is winning or setting a personal best more important than sitting up and taking in the incredible World around us?

Q: How many days did we stay inside this Winter because the weather was a little uncomfortable when we could have sucked it up and gone on an adventure. Even a short one.

Q: How many times have we complained about the weather, work, money, relationships, life, etc. when we could have been looking forwards and making exciting plans for what lays ahead rather than fixating on what has passed or might never be.

This week we are reminded that life is so whimsically short and we are solely responsible for writing the stories that will end up in our book of life, regardless of how many chapters it finally has. Our community lost a great man that could have filled a library with his stories of adventure and a “life without compromise,” and this has renewed my commitment to start enjoying the journey a little more often.