There is something equal parts serenity and electricity about taking on a river in a kayak. It amazes me. There are few things as wildly unpredictable as whitewater, and yet somehow I still feel in control. In the battle of me versus the river, the river is going to kick my ass 9 times out of 10. Still, when I finally grease down a flume of charging whitewater that everything else in the world seemingly slips away. Bills, television, whether or not I answered that email, whether or not I have enough gas in the truck to make it home—none of that matters. For that brief moment in time you can taste a little bit of heaven.
Photo by Dane Jackson
After trudging over mountains in Iceland hauling his kayak on his shoulders, athlete Steve Fisher put it perfectly. When he finally reached the water, he said, “we are finally able to use our kayaks for what they were originally intended; an ideal mode of transport between point A and B.” What could possibly be better than being right in the middle of a raging river and buckling up for the ride? I believe kayaking is an access point to the quiet places in our lives that so many of us long for more consistently. We get to choose our journey, our route, our expedition and, of course, our transportation. I choose kayaking. And I’ll keep trying to fully appreciate all the adventures in between and along the way.