Saturday, May 04, 2013

Transitions in "passions": Good thing / bad thing? Or continuing to explore and experience?

Outside the cabin: Ready to go, first thing tomorrow morning!
A friend and blog reader asked in an email recently, "Are you losing your passion for sea kayaking?" I responded. "No. Why do you ask?" "Fewer posts on the subject this year.", he replied. After some thought, I discerned that he was, indeed, correct. There have been fewer posts and, according to my daily journal, we've launched fewer times in 2013 than in past years.

So, are we less passionate about being on the water? No, I don't think so. As I write this, the boats are on the roof of the High Mobility Kayak Transport Vehicle, here at the cabin on Gabriola, and ready to launch first thing tomorrow morning. And really looking forward to that.

And it was, indeed, a nice paddle around the "Flat Tops".
(Photo added the next day)
In these "re-configured" and less-than-full-time days, we have rediscovered some old passions and found some new ones. Cycling is one. The bikes, bought in 2006, have spent most of the time in the garage...waiting. We were too busy. This past year, however, we try to get out three or four early mornings a week to ride the route from "base camp" to Genoa Bay - lots of nice hills that get the heart pumping on the way up and a quick ride on the way down.

We both seem to get a ridiculous thrill these days, pouring over UK Ordnance Survey (topographical) maps, imagining the hills and glens, the paths and trails, and the lonely cairns that await exploration in Scotland and northern England in the very near future. Always wanted to hike and properly navigate with a map and compass. Again, always too busy in the past to get around to it.

The nasty achilles injury that has plagued for almost two years has now fully recovered - thanks to the treadmill, the iPod, and some (rare) common sense. (Been in this body for over 63 years and still learning that common sense trumps enthusiasm sometimes!) The right knee, that for six months had taken a lot of the fun out of trail running, is also significantly better. I'm positive that cycling has provided the exact kind of cross-training that was required. "Motion is lotion", the stiffness has gone and the full range of movement has returned. So we are running again, sensibly.

Lost some passion for kayaking? No. We're just finding that it has to take its place amongst some other passions. It's all part of the healthy and ongoing transitions that I truly believe our lives need to undergo to ensure we continue to explore and experience and discover new sources of meaning.

If this blog had suddenly morphed from a focus on paddling and self-propelled movement into "25 Ways to Improve Your Poker Game", my friend would have had reason for serious concern. So would Joan!

Everything is fine. There is balance. As the old philosopher said, "to everything there is a season". And most seasons can accommodate a wonderful variety of invigorating and health-filled activities that ensure we all continue to explore and experience - and grow. And variety is, indeed, a very spicy component to life!

At least, that's how I see it.

Short cut through Silva Bay marina.
A perfect paddling day on Canada's "left" coast.
We always appreciate you coming by.



  1. Hey Duncan, I had a feeling you'd be posting on that. Glad to hear you guys are back on the trails. Back in VFFs? Cheers. BfJJ

  2. Hi John, yeah, it's sure nice to be back. Wearing the VFFs but not for running right now as not sure if that might stress the achilles too much. Been wearing a Brooks "Pureflow", just 4 mm heel height, nice and wide, and super comfortable. May eventually try VFFs again, cautiously. Great to hear from you and thanks for your question. :) Duncan.

  3. Angie from Angeles04 May, 2013 15:47

    Hi Duncan and Joan, it's my observation that passions and interests with sports and self-propelled activity sometimes unnecessarily narrow as people age. There is the sense that we can't do what we once could and so settle into what's comfortable (and safe) - and no longer challenging. That's too bad. Strength training, for example, continues to benefit folks who are 100! Balance can be maintained with exercise, heart and lungs just need to be used. Those "less-than-full-time days" are an opportunity to flourish with new passions. But the same is true at any age! Interesting subject. :>) Angie.

  4. Couldn't agree more, Angie! Thank you for your perspective and comment. Duncan.

  5. Hi Duncan & Joan,

    Isn't it amazing how other things in life just "need" a little attention but there isn't enough time in a day, month and sometimes the year to do everything. :-)

    I know exactly what you are going through right now but in our case we are full into kayaking and all of our previous passions have been left behind ... only temporarily.

    I shocked our Precision Aerobatics community this past week when I told them I was coming out of retirement to fly in the next local contest in June. Their comment .. tired of kayaking? Me .. Heck no just need keep in touch with other passions too.

    Keep well


  6. Well said, Mark. I know that you are a major player in the world of aerobatics and that you and Robyn are clearly VERY passionate about sea kayaking. We can't do everything at the same time but how wonderful it is to have a variety of interests that give meaning and enjoyment! Much appreciate your thoughts on this. Warm wishes to you both. Duncan.

  7. Living can't be narrowed down to activities. I spend most of the past week's getting or veggies planted.

    A whole bunch of ing's...yup too many Ings to list!

  8. Thanks for that, Lee. Given that our diet is veggie-based, getting veggies planted sounds like one heck of a great activity to us! :) Duncan.