I don’t usually post non-kayaking stuff on here, but a lot of paddlers are climbers too, and this video of Sasha DiGiulian climbing the 9a “Pure Imagination” in Kentucky is pretty great. Not only is she just eighteen years old, but she’s also apparently the first American woman to climb 9a.
What really struck a chord with me though was what she says starting at around 4:20 mins into the video, when she’s talking about her approach to doing something this difficult:
“The key to climbing outside is just looking at a line and thinking that it looks fun and going for it – not having to have a grade correlate with your ambition to try something.”
Substitute “kayaking” for climbing and “class” for grade, and I think it’s something most boaters can relate to, both in terms of maybe not forcing yourself to do something just because it’s rated as difficult, and also not being afraid to try something just because it is – and, not to mention, remembering to have fun. (Granted, climbers are roped in whereas boaters will always be dealing with that pesky inability to breathe underwater thing, so I still think we have more to deal with – but there’s a good point here.)