BOTE ambassador Michael Gauthier explains how paddle boarding has offered him and his kids an awesome outlet to keep adventure alive!
Adventure is a funny thing. When you're a child it seems like everything is an adventure: the woods behind your back yard, the house down the street that you are certain is haunted, even finding “treasure” on the beach. As we get older, it gets harder to capture that feeling, and for too many people, adventuring is something that is long forgotten as a part of childhood.
Maybe the problem lies more though in what we decide should be classified as an adventure. The truth that I have learned from my children is that adventures can be had in your back yard and doesn’t require much more than each other's company. About five years ago I embarked on the most adventurous of adventures…fatherhood. My emotions ranged from “it can’t be that hard” to “I can’t be responsible for myself much less another human being." One of the most common things that you hear from people prior to having a child is about how your life will change. While this is completely true, it didn't happen quite the way I expected. I thought once my wife and I became parents, a switch would flip and we’d be adults...not exactly. Although I found myself growing up, I also found myself acting more like a kid. My son Holland and I climb trees and explore the woods. My daughter Cypress and I sing and dance in the kitchen and pretend I’m a dolphin in the pool as I take her for a ride. One of our new favorite activities to do together has been the catalyst for many of our adventures is paddle boarding.
A couple of years ago, I found my need to get on the water incessant and decided to take the plunge and purchase a board. Now, it has become somewhat of a routine to get out as often as possible. Paddle boarding has enabled not only myself, but also my children, to keep looking for those new waterways or finding a new secret spot. It serves as an awesome way for us to spend time together, yet still getting outside and enjoying nature. Our paddle boarding adventures can even be as simple as blowing up my kids Flow and throwing them in the pool to play on it and paddle around. I even find myself partaking in their games on the boards and acting like a pirate or some other storyline they have come up with. Growing up doesn’t mean you forget how to be a kid. Staying childlike in spite of growing up is the secret to adventure.
Two great gifts you can give your children are the spirit of adventure and the urge to pursue their dreams. I try to teach my son and daughter about how to care for the world we live in, stand up for what is right, and always be brave, kind, and respectful. In turn my children teach me how there is wonder in even the smallest of things, and that adventures lie around every corner. May we always see the world through a child's eyes…on a paddle board hunting for a pirate’s buried treasure that’s being guarded by a sea monster…it’s more fun like that anyway…isn’t it?
Click here to learn more about Michael Gauthier
Published on Friday, June 17, 2016 in Stories