My Relationship With Kayaking

At first I just really liked kayaking. We hung out a lot one summer, and it was great but I really didn’t see it going any further than that. I mean, it was just bad timing. I had school that fall and wouldn’t have been able to see my kayak anyway. Sure I missed it, but that’s life. By the winter, I hardly thought about kayaking at all. The next summer I got a job rafting and was happy. Rafting and I never got much time to ourselves, but I had a roof over my head. I thought I wanted the stability. Sure, I missed all the traveling and adventures I had with kayaking, but people change. I had a life with rafting. Even my friends liked rafting. None of them had ever even gone kayaking. They said it was too crazy and were glad that I didn’t do it any more.

Behind the scenes though, rafting and I began to grow apart. For a while I tried to make it work. We went down some new rivers, I even learned to row instead of just paddling all time. It went on like that for a while, and then one afternoon, that one crazy afternoon…I ran into my old kayak. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time, but somehow the kayak was just the way I remembered it. A little scratched up maybe, but it had gotten those scratches doing rock spins with me. I never showed up for my rafting trip that afternoon. By the time anybody noticed, I was already floating down another river in my kayak, a river too steep and rocky for a raft to ever go down. I made three runs with my kayak that afternoon and then camped out right on the river bank. For the first time in a while, I felt alive again.

I knew then, that I loved kayaking. All that happened years ago, and much of what has happened since is a blur. In that time, my kayak and I have traveled from Alaska to the Carolinas. its been the kind of life I always dreamed of, the kind of life I could only have with kayaking. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I still do work with rafts, but its strictly professional. All my free time goes to my kayak now. I don’t know what my future might be, but as long a kayaking is a part of it, I’m excited about the possibilities.

Nate and his Kayak

Nate and his Kayak


About Nate

Nate grew up in South Carolina, but considers wandering around the West more like home these days. Shortly after he learned to kayak, he discovered that you can make a living working on the river. He's been a 'lost cause' ever since, boating on rivers in North Carolina, Alaska, and Oregon. When he's not on the water, he's trying to parlay his natural enthusiasm and fondness for peer pressure into a career as a life coach. The title of the company? I'm Full of Bad Ideas...and Now You are Too. We'll let that speak for itself.