Over the weekend I had the opportunity of a lifetime to sit across Master RKC Andrea Ducane for dinner. I had traveled to visit a friend of mine in WV and was surprised by a private invite to a dinner function with Andrea Ducane in Virginia (turns out WV is close to just about everything). We all arrived a place called “The V” in Virginia, and after having kayaked for nearly 8 miles, I decided to feast on my favorite comfort food.
Inappropriate amounts of BBQ ribs, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes. And you know what world? I HAD NO SHAME!
While conversing over Dinner, Master RKC Ducane spoke about how sorry she felt for the younger generation living in this modern world. “I just feel bad for them all” she said, in reference to how many children these days are just overstimulated by technology, social media, and way too much TV. The conversation made me think of an article i had read years ago about how children who texted too often actually had lost the ability to use face-to-face emotional expressions. It’s a true phenomenon these days. So many of us facebook each other, tweet, and upload our entire lives on instgram that we often fail to communicate person-to-person, face-to-face in real time. Are we enjoying our lies without the technological hype? Are we stuck in a world of social media without having real life conversations? Are we living our lives through photos online when really, all we need is to get out doors and hike somewhere?
“I worry about this new generation.” said Master RKC Ducane. “When I grew up, I was always encouraged to venture out doors and explore the world. I raised my children to do just that. Get out there, play, explore your surroundings and learn how to adapt. I don’t see that anymore these days. I wonder if people will ever really learn how to have solid communications skills, let alone real relationships with people. I wonder if they can even enjoy their lives without all that excessive stimulation from the internet.”
I got to thinking about just how “plugged in” to the world I was too. Most of my business is marketed via social media. I use my twitter account to catch up with people and send out emails like it’s no ones business. It struck me then, that even I was falling into the “technologically overstimulated” category. Having spent a weekend kayaking WV, I realized just how overworked, over stimulated, and how absolutely STARVED I was for genuine conversations. During the last day of my West Virginia Trip, I spent the morning Kayaking up and down the Shenandoah River. It was just me, just a friend, and the wild and wonderful West Virginia morning. The river was so clear that it would reflect the images of all the wild life around it like a mirror. I watched as I saw a flock of Turkeys drink water at the bank side. I even saw a great feat as a squirell swam right across the river end to end (Miachel Phelps, eat your heart out!). It may not seem like much, but those two days off from work really made me realize how important it is to just spend time with people we care about and to spend time doing activities beyond what lies in front of us on our computer screens.
Friends, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it all the more. Our health is determined by eating smart and training hard, but enjoying our lives is what makes it all worth while. Give yourself a break. Relax, and get out there and explore the world outside the comfort of your home. We live in a world that is more tuned in to every status our friends post when really, sometimes what we need is to tune out to it all entirely. Go for a walk, take a hike, or if you’re like me, get in a kayak and paddle upstream. The worls is filled with beautiful sights, and it would serve us all a great deal of comfort seeing those beautiful things in real time. Life is an adventure. Get out there and explore it all!
Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
Janelle Pica, RKC