Before I was Mrs. Eddies, I was Mrs. Adams, a married, socially-awkward recluse with an unhealthy obsession with ten year old syndicated television shows.
When a turbulent divorce led me to re-evaluate my life, I saw a need to step outside of my very narrow comfort zone and out into the world.
The challenge I posed to myself: Say yes.
Say yes to opportunities, to adventure, to things I couldn't afford, to things I didn't have time for, to things that made me uncomfortable, even to things that
So I started kayaking. The end.
Okay, not really. But the activity certainly meets all the requirements.
I joined kickball teams. I joined football teams. I went on road trips. I sang karaoke. I went on a few dates. I did way too many shots. And when my brother called me out of the blue on a Tueday to ask, "ya wanna go camping with a bunch of hippies this weekend?" I said yes.
Nothing could have prepared me for that weekend. I knew little of my brother's kayaking life, except that it really seemed to frustrate our mother. Shortly after he bought his first boat, he sort of vanished. I think there should be a support group out there for families who have lost someone to a kayaking obsession.
I spent the majority of that first weekend trying to gain some understanding of the situation I had found myself in. The"hippies" he had mentioned were members of the Bluegrass Wildwater Association, on an unofficial group trip to paddle the Pigeon River in Tennesee. And they were fantastic.
But as fantastic as they were, and as utterly enthralled as I was with the whole scene (the gear, the lingo, the culture), I remained uncovinced that I would ever be anything but a curious spectator of their crazy sport.
Many people come to the BWA for the boating and stay for the people. I came in backwards.
And when it became apparent to me that simply hanging out with boaters all the time, without actually being one, was going to earn me a weird "groupie" status, I challenged myself again. I would learn how to roll a kayak.
That's how it starts.