Paddlers of the World,
Finding what we call "Flow" is one of the most defining points of any sport we challenge ourselves to master.
"Flow" is a state of body and mind in which we are "at one" with the element or challenge we have presented ourselves with. Often finding a sense of fulfillment, enjoyment and even euphoria.
Here is a diagram of the stages we transition in and out of when attempting to find the flow:
As you an see from the diagram above, there are several feelings/emotions we can experience when challenging ourselves in an activity. The two contributing factors are the level of challenge and our skill level.
Try to think of a time when you were on the water or scouting the next rapid and the only thought you had was "nope, not for me"! I'm sure you recognise the stage you were experiencing was the worry or anxiety stage. You looked at the water and decided the challenge and your skill level were not up to scratch.
Now picture that perfect moment, we all have one, whether it be on class l or class V, where your face was hurting from smiling and work did not even come into your mind. You just put paddle to water and boom. That my friends is "Flow".
So how does "Flow" help you?
Wanting the feeling over and over of "Flow" gives us the drive to transition from a 2ft wave to 6ft wave, or a 5ft drop to a 50ft drop. This is why we are all in the paddling world, it is the one aspect where we can feel free and an exciting level of achievement. Not to mention, the fact that the paddling community is an amazing family of people who inspire each other.
The best aspect of finding "Flow" is that, this is your paddling experience. You choose to advance at your own rate. If you are not ready to run that particualr rapid, take your time. Build up your skills and expertise level before taking on the challenge. Developing the correct mentality and skill set is vital for your success in finding "Flow" at your desired level. I'm sure you have heard it from your idol before; "do some laps", "build up to it", "try it in a different boat".
Happy Paddling everyone, enjoy your paddling and journey to finding "Flow.".
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