Monday, November 08, 2010

Green Race 2010

What a scene. Photo by Shane Benedict.

One must love thyself before one can ever try to love anyone else. This may sound selfish; but if, we are not happy and loving within ourselves, how can one ever imagine to inspire the same within another? With that said, I try to do what makes me the most happy. Happiness doesn't come for free. Whether you're a master of the custodial arts, working to pay off your Buick Regal; or a kayaker, stroking through endless flat-water to sculpt that wicked 6 pack for the Given'er Race. Work is a necessary step in the stairway to heaven we are all climbing up.

Will Pruett about to Sting the Gorilla. Photo by Shane Benedict.

I don't know if every kayaker wants to race the Green, but it sure seems like they should. I'm not a big fan of competition, and find it hard to push myself in hopes of beating a fellow burl-charger. However, I believe, or should I say embrace, the idea that we are all out there to have fun and cheer on each and one another, as we push our physical limits on a stretch of river that is not only beautiful and fun, but also difficult and demanding.

Curt 'Bag' Lamberth getting stylish in Go Left. Photo by Robert Haigh

People travel from all over the world to experience the grandeur, excitement, and fun that ensues from kayakers, spectators, and gorillas giving themselves away to a greater sense of oneness that develops from the Green Race. We are all out there to have fun, and in this unifying connection, a great sense of awareness and dare-ness develops that leads to something that is hard to put into words.

Drew Duval getting angry with the Squirrel. Photo by Lee Timmons.

Immersing oneself in the river, we usually feel free and disconnected from the daily external stresses that occur in modern life. The Green Race, on the other hand, actually combines the freedom of paddling with the stress of work and society. You are not only trying to have fun and make it down the river; but also, go fast, stay focused, and avoid eating a stone. Its ironic, how giving away your freedom to go at whatever pace you please, and forcing yourself to go as hard as you can, actually feels refreshing-- especially after you finish the race!

Taft enjoying the Hungee. Copyright Chris Bell/ Used with permission.

I can't imagine a better way to see old friends, meet new ones, charge some righteous swirls, drink some white lightning, and party like its 1999. I hope to make it back for this event of epic proportions every year. It makes me, and what seems like, a thousand other people, really happy; and that, my friends, is what counts in life! This is all I know, and knowing is half the battle.

Nick Murphy and I enjoying a few post-boating-refreshments. Photo by Shane Benedict

Thanks to all the great people who make this race happen, and a special thanks to Charles Armentrout for loaning me his Stinger. Until next time, Charge On!

Here is a little post-race Shine action my buddy Gareth Tate documented.

Everybody Shines from 7 Finger media on Vimeo.

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