In the past week as I was refreshing this website, and especially the header photo with one of our students kayaking and the corresponding quote, I got to thinking about what a practical metaphor our STLC kayaking is. As we kayak more often each year with our students, I see even more correlation between kayaking and our journeys and lessons in real life.
These are some of the questions I might ask myself, and the skills I would want to practice, in order to be a skilled kayaker…OR in order to be a person equipped with the necessary tools and skills for a progressive and satisfying journey through life.
- Where am I headed—in which direction? And am I pointed in that direction? Am I moving in that direction?
- Have I checked the conditions beforehand so that I am prepared for what is ahead? Is it too windy or cold? Are there rapids ahead, etc? Rapids and such can be so invigorating if I am prepared.
- Will I actually get where I want to go? I will get wherever I paddle…no one else can paddle my kayak for me.
- If I get behind, do I expect others to wait for me or do I paddle with more gusto in order to catch up?
- If I get stuck in the weeds along the shore, can I back out on my own and get back on track…or do I shut down and expect someone else to rescue me?
- Am I riding calm and steady in my boat or am I rocking and rolling it so much that I am out of balance and tip or sink?
- Can I right my kayak if I tip it over? Or am I just out of commission at that point? Can I fall and get back up? The only way to acquire that skill is to practice and practice some more.
- Have I practiced my steering techniques enough to be able to maneuver through tight spots or unexpected conditions?
- Am I physically and mentally conditioned so that I have the stamina to get to where I want to go? I might be sore at first, but the more I practice with regularity, the further I go.
- Am I committed to safety and wisdom, so that I don’t find myself in scary or rough situations that could have been avoided?
- Do I maintain and care for my kayak that keeps me afloat?
- Am I careful to give other kayakers or fishermen their space? Do I realize that I am not the only one on the river?
- Am I respectful of the wildlife and the natural environment around me? Do I move through the water quietly with gratitude?
Anyone up for a kayak trip….through life? Feel free to leave a reply below if you have more ideas about our kayaking/life metaphors.
Tien Stone Langlois Scholars Together Learning Community