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  • Writer's picturejvaine1

Dedicated Yet Blinded.

Holding on. With every last bit of strength. Feeling as if it slips away it will be gone forever. And this ignites a spark to squeeze even harder. Growing up I learned to be dedicated. To fight for the things I wanted. Put in the work and the results will come. Some days will be hard. Really hard. And others a walk in the park. But in the end worth the battle.

This attitude has been with me for many years. However I have recently realized. I have been misguided with this level of dedication. And this theory is not flawless.

As I begin to get ready for a journey of a life time. Paddling 32 miles down a river. Without a paddle. And lying on my belly. My good friends have been providing me insight on how to paddle efficiently and enjoy the journey.

During my recent training paddles, this theory of push hard and hold on tight was challenged. With my bare hands entering into the water. Moving from the front of the board to the back. The motion resembles a freestyle stroke, in my mind I think Michael Phelps, but to others on shore, more of dog's first experience swimming. A lot of splashing. Some cussing. And tense movements.

After about 25 minutes on the water. My mind let go of trying to paddle as fast as I can. My muscles relaxed. And things became very fluid. My speed increased as my effort lowered. I was becoming efficient.

During these paddles I spend a lot of time with my self. I do not bring music. And I have a full on hour meeting alone. It is my therapy.

What I began to realize. As I reflected back on my life. Is that my most successful moments, where the ones where I was the least intense, willing to let go and open to whatever the outcome may bring. Not blinded by the dedication to succeed. And ultimately missing all the signs and road map presented for me. With my head buried and nose to the grindstone. Instead. I was present. In the moment. As the watched ticked away and the milage added up. I began to enjoy the paddle. The first thing I noticed was my hands soft. Shoulders the same. And my movements where natural and fluid. This week as I pack my things and get ready for the 32 mile paddle. I am carrying this thought with me. As a reminder. The balance between dedication and hard work, but being fluid and open. And present. The river will teach me many more things, this is for certain. As well as my fellow paddlers who will embarque on this journey. However I am excited to continue to grow as a human. Learn to let go of what should be. Acknowledge what is. And live in the moment. This is my new focus of dedication. Living for right now.

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