How My Love for Kayaking Began
Most people see kayaks as ordinary objects. To some people, they may be nothing more than a display in a sporting good store. This is not the case for me. I began kayaking in middle school with one of my friends. When she first introduced me to this hobby, I wasn't fond of it. People tend to have the common misconception that kayaking is tiresome and redundant. I understand why this idea originated because I felt the same way at one point in time. I refused to go kayaking with my friend for quite a while because I had these preconceived notions inside my head. Luckily, my friend was very persistent. She asked repeatedly until I agreed to go. As cliche as this sounds, I instantly fell in love with this activity.
How My Parents Used Kayaking to Teach Me a Life Lesson
After falling in love with kayaking, I knew I needed to purchase one of my own. The picture above was taken the day I purchased my kayak. My parents said, "You can have a kayak, but you have to pay for it." So, that's exactly what I did. At the time, I thought my parents were being extremely unfair because they never made my brother pay for any of his basketball gear. Later, I realized that my parents made me pay for my kayak to teach me a lesson. I take pride in my kayak because it wasn't easily obtained. I had to work, save my money, search for one suitable for my size, then go pick it up from the store. Every time I look at my kayak, I am reminded of the lesson my parents taught me about working hard for what you want. They always say, "Life isn't going to be handed to you. You have to work hard in every aspect of life." Others may look at my kayak and see a shiny, turquoise Pelican, but I see a foundation of morals.
Nature is Never Boring
Once I purchased my first kayak, I started kayaking regularly. People often ask, "How do you kayak the same lake regularly without getting bored?" Although the location is the same, nature is always changing. I see different fish and birds each time I go. One day I may see a catfish, and the next day I might see a huge bass. This past summer, a snake swam right up next to my kayak. I honestly thought it was going to slither right up my leg. I was scared and overcome with a thrill at the same time. Being in nature gives me an indescribable feeling. I oftentimes row myself to the middle of the lake and close my eyes. The sun shines down on my face and the smell of corn fills the air. The calming sound of birds chirping enters my ears. All my worries go astray, and reality no longer seems important. I am at peace.
How Kayaking Helped Strengthen a Relationship
When I started to spend so much time kayaking, my family started asking me about my new hobby. My family is very active, and my mom is always trying to find new ways to spend time with us. I love my mom very much, but our personalities are very different. We do not share many interests, so I was surprised when she seemed interested to join me on a kayaking trip. Although I enjoy kayaking alone, I like it much better when she goes with me. During quarantine, we went regularly. I oftentimes take my mom for granted. I get so wrapped up in the chaos of life that I lose sight of how important our relationship actually is. Kayaking is a slow-paced hobby, so my mind is usually at ease while I'm doing it. I am able to talk to my mom without any distractions. We discuss a variety of topics. I'm so thankful we found a pastime that allows us to create memories that will last an eternity.
Tension Within Kayaking
The picture above was taken at the end of August. I was really struggling to stay motivated because the temperature kept increasing. I wish the weather was always cooperative, but unfortunately, it isn't. Kayaking becomes more difficult when it's cloudy, windy, rainy, or extremely hot. It's particularly difficult when it's unusually windy. I am often forced to kayak in the opposite direction of the wind. It's almost as if I'm at war with the weather. Every time I go kayaking, I encounter at least one of the weather's many inconveniences. As crazy as it sounds, I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy pushing myself to figure out how to navigate the obstacles presented to me. I end each adventure proud that I was able to persevere.
In summary, kayaking is so much more than it appears to be. Through kayaking, I learn valuable lessons, feel at peace in nature, make memories with my mom, and gain a sense of self-accomplishment through tension. To you, it may simply be a small boat, but to me, it's an outlet.