Posted on December 7, 2021 by Reed Naliboff
The past couple of years have taken a few things from us: family members, a seat from the table, and stories we highly-esteemed. A lot of us wonder: what will the holidays look like this year? When we’re on the water, what memories will we meditate on? But more than what’s been taken away, we’ve also been given: different tables to sit at, different shoes to step in, and an added importance to what really matters. We’d bet that almost everyone who reads this will be able to say they either lost or gained something valuable in the past year, but there are still stories left to be told.
As we light candles, decorate trees, and get ready for our winter paddles, we reflect on all that the past year has taught us. Unfortunately, for most, even some who read this, COVID took away the person who taught us how to paddle, the person who gave us our first board, and even the person we one day wanted to paddle with. It’s hard to think about. Even if that’s not your experience, as a whole, we can all come to say that we’ve come to appreciate the people around us a little more.
When we first learned to paddle, we either did it alone or with someone next to us. Regardless, there’s a story to tell about that moment. In the details: how many times we fell, how warm or cold the water was, how many times we laughed (maybe cried), and what inspired us to keep going.
Although the past couple of years have been difficult for a lot of people, beyond COVID itself, we’ve also gained new perspectives. As lockdowns came and went, we sat with new neighbors, read other people’s stories online, and even came to realize that our own lives may have been missing a thing or two.
Some of us picked up paddle boarding for the first time, others bought a new board, and some added a board to their wish list. Whatever it is though, as hard as the stories of the past year are to tell, there are a thousand more stories left to tell—and we’d like to think they’ll be filled with more laughter than tears.
We like to say life is better in balance for more reasons than we can count. If we’ve learned anything new in the past year, it’s that our boards will always be more than just that. They’re the moments we spend with our loved ones. The first time we lost our balance and showed ourselves grace instead of shame. The moments in the morning where nothing else matters. The experience we needed to realize we really are that adventurous, and that there’s more adventure out there for us.
Our boards may be carriers for our bodies when out on the water, but they also carry the ideas we hone inside, the thoughts that weigh heavy, and the thoughts that bring light. They carry the stories, memories, and yearnings of thousands of individuals all over the world. So, if COVID has taught us anything in the past year, it’s this: there’s always something more to learn. Whether that’s about ourselves, our neighbor, or the ones we love most, may we learn that tomorrow’s a new day, and it’s filled with possibility.
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