Archive for November 2013
The holiday season is here, and there are lots of good ways to avoid the trap of overconsumption and stress that drags down so many of us. As paddlers, we tend to be interested in healthier and more environmental ways to live, and the holidays give us the chance to live with purpose—giving alternative gifts, celebrating with time rather than money, and repurposing both objects and our lives. Join Leslie and Christian to learn about better ideas for holiday gifts and celebration, this time on The Paddler’s Planet.
This Friday is the infamous Black Friday, when American consumers descend en masse on the malls and shopping centers in a vertiable orgy of consumption. For those of us looking for less stress and better health this is not the place to be. As a fun poke at the craziness the group Adbusters promotes that same day as Buy Nothing Day, encouraging folks to keep their wallets and purses shut for the day as a symbolic protest.
As we do look for gifts with purpose, homemade gits are so much fun and carry great meaning. It’s also really fun to get-together with friends and family for an afternoon of gift-making, whether that’s baking cookies, creating herbal sachets, or making Christmas ornaments.
The holidays really are a time for us to build more community and to enrich our social bonds. One great way to do that is to give the gift of time. Instead of giving a physical item as a gift, give your time to another. That could be teaching them to paddle a stand up paddleboard, play the guitar, or paint. Share whatever you can—the real benefit comes from the time spent with a friend or loved one.
When giving a physical gift, be sure to check your attic or basement for an old item that can be repurposed or upcycled. Upcycling means to give it a higher form, like turning something into a piece of art. Thrift stores are also a great place to find fun items that still have lots of life.
All of these better ways of celebrating add purpose and reduce stress for the holidays. It also provides a lesson for applying these same principles to the big things that have even more impact—to our homes and neighborhoods—as we repurpose them and make them healthier and longer-lasting. It’s all about happier and healthier holidays–this week on The Paddler’s Planet.
Here at SUP Radio we are honored to share the blog from our friend Elam Stoltzfus. Congratulations Elam on your Suncoast Emmy award for your stunning documentary film “Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition”.~Leslie Kolovich
In autumn many hunters take their bows, guns, orange safety vests and other paraphernalia and head into their mecca, the woods, to scout out the perfect location to nab a prize buck or turkey (it’s illegal to hunt bears in Florida).
As a young buck, I hunted white-tailed deer in the southern tier region of New York. When I picked up a camera, I traded the gun for a camera. Hunting with a camera includes the art of stalking: studying the species and understanding the social patterns of the creature.
Here in northwest Florida, white-tailed deer are prolific. After a hearty lunch of corn, some of our furry-tailed neighbors like to swing by my house for a dessert of roses. My wife’s roses are her pride and joy. She loves sharing roses with her friends—and not her furry friends. It is an ongoing battle to outsmart the deer: we have tried everything from an electronic water sprinkler—called a scarecrow—to white plastic rope that you spray with stink-spray to ward off Bambi, to even marking our territory by asking me and Nic to pee around the rose bed. Oh my.
Turkeys take skill to stalk and observe; they have keen eyesight and notice any movement. Behind our house is a tract of 30 acres of woodland—recently we have observed 7 turkeys coming through to forage and roost. Trying to film turkeys is a challenge, and if you can get quality footage of a turkey it is a great accomplishment.
Florida black bear is a species I don’t have much experience with. I continue to learn, observe, and read about the Florida black bear. Once, while up in a tree stand, I observed a mother bear and two cubs looking for food. They were on a constant lookout for any new smells and unusual movements; it was fascinating to just watch them.
All these species are signature wildlife in Florida. Turkey, bear, and deer can be observed in many areas across the wilds of Florida.
Hey there! This is Leslie Kolovich and joining me today is white water stand up paddler Ken Hoeve. He recently returned from an amazing adventure in Honduras. Ken has a long history in white water kayaking and in this podcast tells us how this lead him into white water Stand Up Paddling. His Honduras experience on the Rio Cangrejal makes him the first Stand Up Paddler on this river.
“Seeing such poverty makes us really realize how we take life here in the states for granted”.
Ken talks about his apprehension of finding out that Honduras has the highest murder rates in the world. However, his experience with the people, the river and the incredible scenic beauty of the country made this place a destination he will return to with his family. He also talks about the experiences that created memories that will stay with him a lifetime. Seeing the extremes of the country put things into perspective for him and he has decided along with his family that they will do their part to help some of the very impoverished children.
Ken also talks about taking his SUP board into the country. People hadn’t ever seen one before, and even the owners of the rafting company were not sure it was a good idea. Ken talks about how this was not the most challenging stretch of white water he has done before, but it was “perfect” because the water was warm and crystal clear making it easier to see rocks. He experienced class 4 and 5 rapids.
Ken also talks about the whitewater SUP growth and encourages people to attend the Payette River Games in June in Cascade Idaho at Kelly’s Whitewater River Park as a competitor or as a spectator. $50k of prize money is on the line.
Check out more photos of Ken’s Honduras trip at thrillon.com
What does Standup PaddleSurfing have to do with “Changing the Way we live on the Planet”?
Words fascinate me! Take the word bystander for instance, “a person who is standing near but not taking part in what is happening” according to Webster’s! What happens when we place the word passive in front of bystander?
Passive, “used to describe someone who allows things to happen or who accepts what other people do or decide without trying to change anything”, again according to Webster’s. A passive bystander. Who would have thought that passive bystanders would form a majority in today’s societies? Who could have predicted the destructive power of a passive bystander?
Passive bystanders are the single biggest challenge the Planet faces today!
I am frequently asked what Standup PaddleSurfing has got to do with “Changing the Way we live on the Planet”? In a word, the two are connected by the word “connection”. Connection is what Standup PaddleSurfing has to do with “Changing the Way we live on the Planet”. Connection, “the act of connecting two or more things or the state of being connected”, Webster’s again. Connection, interconnectedness, is what makes the World go around. The opposite of connection is disconnection. Disconnection is the state that allows a person to do all kinds of crazy stuff, and I would postulate that disconnection is the state of a vast majority of the population in today’s World. Disconnection is what prevents the World from going around. Put another way, “in order to connect with something, something has to be disconnected, or not connected in the first place. However you define it, connecting is by “Nature”, an action word. In order to connect with something a person must “do” something, which runs contrary to the definition of a passive bystander. Somehow, we the people, have become a society of passive bystanders, and it is costing the Planet in a big way.
We humans are a complex lot. We humans have complex behaviors. We humans are a “Force of Nature” (thanks to Dr. David Suzuki for that one). We humans are, without question, the most disconnected species on the planet. Wars, Greed, Abuse, Poverty, Climate Change, Racism, Religion, and more thrive because we are disconnected. We humans consider ourselves separate from “Nature”, a major disconnect. We humans mostly live in our heads, and function without input from our hearts, a major disconnect. These two disconnections are the source of many of the messes we have created for ourselves. We have convinced ourselves that we have superior intelligence, and as a result we have also convinced ourselves that the laws of “Nature” do not apply to us.
So, how does a cerebral creature connect with the heart and “Nature” to end this cycle of messiness? One of the best ways I know to connect is very simple. Get out and experience “Nature”, chances are you will experience a twofer! When one is in “Nature”, one can appreciate the “Oneder of Nature”, and when one can appreciate the “Oneder of Nature”, one can also connect with the heart, voila, a twofer! When one connects with the heart and “Nature” things like war do not compute. Things like greed do not compute. Things like racism do not compute. Etc, etc.
One of the best ways I know to get out in “Nature” is to head out on the water on a Standup PaddleSurfer! No cell phone, no computer, just a place where a person can slow down, breathe, and experience “Nature”. As my good friend, Leslie Kolovich says, “it’s hard to be grumpy when you’re on the water!”
Words fascinate me! One can change the meaning of a word just by spelling it differently. Passive buystander. Passive byestander. Oneder. However one spells it, one thing is clear, the Planet can no longer afford passive bystanders. The Planet is asking us to become fully engaged, fully alive. The easiest way I know of to “Stand up for the Planet” is to “Stand up for the Planet”!…