Saturday, May 16, 2015

Get assessed

Kayakers: want to be a star?

 Most of you paddlers know that there is a BCU (British Canoe Union) and an ACA (American Canoe Association) each of which certifies instructors at various levels (1-5). Most of you also seem to know that the BCU offers classes and assessments to award(non instructor) paddlers a star value that indicates their level of proficiency as a paddler. So, when someone says "I am a 3-star paddler," you know that the BCU system has validated their competency at the criteria for that level.

What fewer of you seem to realize is that a parallel system exists within the ACA paradigm. That is, an ACA certified instructor can evaluate a paddler and award them a skills assessment award at some level up to and including the instructors level of certification. For example, one could go on the ACA site, download the skills required of (for example) a level 2 paddler. When ready, an instructor with a level 2 (or higher) certification can put you through the paces and, if you pass, award you a level 2 assessment award. It does require that you are or become a member of the ACA.

It would be nice (I believe) if more paddlers had a realistic assessment of their skills. If they fall short in any area, the testing instructor notes that and the paddler knows where to emphasize their practice. 

Go ahead and check out the ACA site and the requirements for skill assessments and see where you think you are on the skill ladder. Then, find a qualified instructor and test out. Best of worlds and you end up with bragging rights. Worst case scenario and you know exactly what you need to work on. 

Paddle safe...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blessed is he...

Most Blessed Man Ever?

I suspect you know a guy (or two) like this. A guy who seems blessed in every aspect of his life. The guy I have in mind was blessed with wonderful parents who brought him up from humble beginnings and modeled for him the values of integrity and charity. He wasn't wealthy but was able to create his own fun and adventures.

He lived in a time and place where public school education was excellent; and he was stimulated to go on to college. There, he was blessed with excellent instructors and, when he went to graduate school, wonderful mentors. During all these years he was blessed with wonderful friends who became life-long friends on whom he could depend on in times of trouble. Oh, he had enough trouble, just like the rest of us, but each event taught him a lesson and left him stronger. 

There is not enough space to enumerate his interests and the blessing they brought to him. They showered him with incredible experiences and put him in contact with new friends who stimulated him to higher achievements. 

He enjoyed a long and rewarding career doing worthwhile work of which he was proud. 

After educating himself (and surviving the military), he was blessed when he was fixed up with a blind date who was to become (as he called her) his first wife. They are still married almost 40 years later. You can probably guessed that he was further blessed with wonderful children and incredible grandchildren. 

With all of this he built what I would call an ideal and blessed life. He is content with what he has and thankful for everything and everyone in his world. 

No one could ask for more in this life. I certainly can't. It is enough that I am blessed to be that man.

Paddle safe...