The title makes it sounds like I'm having some sort of existential crisis or the like, that couldn't be further than the truth. Since I posted this back in 2014 where I said I'd ceased offering commercial courses and instruction for some time now and this site went kind of dormant not too long after until recently. I've had a few people asking me why have I taken to posting content again after such an absence, was I back in the game of cash for courses. 🙂
The simple nothing has changed on that front, I'm still and have no intention on getting back into commercial course provision. I've done loads of coaching and instruction since that non announcement and will continue to do so. I just don't do it commercially, I help out clubs and people who might otherwise find it difficult to get access to experienced / qualified coaching taking payment in coffee or high fives.
Rarely a week goes by where I don't get inquiries about commercial work and I redirect them to a handful of providers who I respect and know will do a great job.
The question then is if I don't post here to try drum up work why do I bother at all, it most be the potential of getting free stuff you get from writing reviews or sharing links right?
The answer is pretty simple no, I don't get free stuff unless you call want to include the gallons of coffee I've drank in i-canoe over the years.
Only yesterday I ran into a lifelong friend who paddles yesterday and asked me what was my next post going to be about and then onto the 'why do I do it?' question. It's a totally self-indulgent endeavor and I'm 100% okay with that.
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. The term "mindfulness" is a translation of the Pali term which is a significant element of some Buddhist traditions.
Large population-based research studies have indicated that the practice of mindfulness is strongly correlated with greater well-being and perceived health.
This is applicable to society at large as well as specific settings such as workplaces and schools. Studies have also shown that rumination and worry contribute to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in the reduction of both rumination and worry.
Now before anyone who knows me pulls me up on it, I've been fairly scathing on my opinions on mindfulness and adult coloring books for quiet a while now. However I'm going to have to take an L on this one and eat my words a bit. There is a pleasure and enjoyment that I get from creating bits of content and sharing them on this site, I'll be the first to admit that the quality isn't always stellar but hey it's my website I am the Editor-in-chief and I can live with that.
In recent years in instructing circle we talk lots about creating a safe learning environment for our students. It's a given we are going to look after their welfare on the water but what it's intended to mean is that we foster an atmosphere where we can ask questions and exchange ideas without fear of judgement or ridicule. I'd somewhat liken myself posting my thoughts on gear, safety, technique and what ever else I come up with as an extension of that ethos.
The Irish paddling scene is an odd place at times, when someone raises their head above the parapet they are often seen as a target before any other option is considered. There are so so many amazing coaches, instructors and paddlers here that have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share but many choose not to because of a perceived negative reaction they might receive.
The thing about perception is that that it's entirely fictional. Perception is relative and entirely based on our own expectations and preconceived ideas and insecurities. While it's easy say but far more difficult to move beyond it, I'm not saying that I'm immune to those kind of negative perceptions and that having a neck like a jockeys bollocks hasn't helped me along my way.
There are few real heartening things that when I decided to start the blog wheels turning again that kept me going. I'm a numbers kinda guy, in the above image it give an indication for the last 30 days that shite I write is read reasonably far. Looking at the analytics for the month of Febuary it tells me that so far this month over 3000 different people have read my blog posts, and more than half of them come back to visit again afterwards. I'm also no idiot that I can't ignore I've engaged in a little bit of clickbiat when it comes to titles and thumbnails as of late.
With the exception of the ire of a few GoPro fanbois even that didn't upset too many people, sadly in today's world of churnalism and 'Fake News' you almost have to do stuff like that to get someone click through to the article.
While numbers are one thing, what really makes it worthwhile to me is when I get a Facebook message off someone you respect saying they value your opinion on that review you did. Or that a post you did starts as conversation about split paddles and progresses to something that might have a long term impact nationally via the sports governing body. In the last month since I started to post here again I've only had a few negative bits of feedback but there have been a couple of dozen times when people have contacted me directly or said in person that they enjoy my ramblings.
So to sum it up...
I enjoy it and every now and then when someone else enjoys it as wee that's a bonus.
Yea so that pretty much it! If you are one of the ones who like what I do and tolerate my dragged out ramblings and poor spelling/grammar my ego will always take kindly to hearing about it. If your one of the other kind of people.... while I'd much like to suggest you make your way to the sea while strapped to a heavy weight I'm far more tolerant and get that I can be a bit like Marmite and totally respect your right to have your own opinion.
A life time ago I made this 'How to double pump' video and cringe while watching it nowadays, I shot other stuff which I ever published. I'd like to do a bit more video content, while I can't tell you the last time I sat in a freestyle boat there might be other paddling / rescue skills I might cover.
For the next while I'm going to try post semi regularly for the next while, it will most likely have a bias towards coaching / skills with more kit reviews. If there is anything in particular you'd like me to cover comment below or drop me a line directly.