When I move out of my comfort zone, I prefer to take people with me–it just makes that whole trying-something-new-and-different thing so much easier. Also, I figure that if the experience is exhilarating we’ll all celebrate how cool we are. . .and if it is not, then a good story with friends will be a great consolation prize.
So, I’ve always wanted to try kayaking. In Colorado kayaking means white water and rocks and flipping over and helmets. While I’m all for moving out of my comfort zone, as a mom I have a very strong life-preservation need, and the fact that my sweet husband still gets confused on such topics as birthdays and asthma medications has increased that drive to live ten-fold.
When a kayaking outing on the San Antonio River was advertised on Group-on, I recognized my chance to cross this off my bucket list. . .and still live to tell the tale (and remember who gets what asthma meds).
I convinced my Girl Scout Juniors troop and their moms (and a grandma) that THIS would be the perfect activity to kick-off our Girl Scout Journey theme for the year: Confronting Stereotypes.
Our guide, Stacey Banta, is the perfect role model for blowing a stereo type out of the water. A kayaker since she was ten, Stacey is a certified instructor and is also a mother of six, a former Girl Scout troop leader, and a professionally licensed guide. She was also the perfect combination of patience and calmness that our group of 15 kayaking newbies needed. For the girls who had trouble paddling, she’d hook their kayak to hers and give them a little break. I needed a break, too, but I was a little embarrassed to ask for a tow.
The route was about 1 ½ mile in the historic King Williams District part of the river. The water was calm and the landscape was green and lush. This wasn’t the tourist part of the river. We even spotted a white crane fly across the river and perch itself in a tree.
There were also some spectacular views of the cityscape.
Stacey said that she guides all year and even leads a night trip during the winter holidays. While not a formally orchestrated effort, the houses along the banks light up their yards making the kayaking trip down the river magical.
The next day one of the moms texted me and said that she should become a kayak guide. I wrote back, Why not? I’ve been thinking of Stacey and my friend and I’ve come to the conclusion that we are never too old for role models–especially those women who model stepping away from the stereotypes to embrace a passion that becomes her life.
And our daughters need to follow those examples as well.
If you live in San Antonio or are planning a visit, kayaking this historic part of the river is highly recommended. (And, by the way, Stacey took all of these wonderful pictures so you don’t even need to worry about bringing your camera and getting it wet! You can reach Stacey Banta at www.TXPADDLESPORTS.COM or to schedule a trip go to www.meetup.com/texaspacknpaddle/ .