Yankee Girl has given me the opportunity to be a beginner again. Coming into this expedition I had these expectations of myself that needed to quickly be readjusted. Despite having owned this little boat for nearly 5 years, most of that time has been spent fixing and repairing her. Not moving her everyday. I would find myself getting frustrated that I couldn’t figure out what was wrong or how to do something. I had these expectations that everything should be totally dialed and easily addressed. But that is not the case. I needed to make a big adjustment or this expedition or this boat was not worth the stress and anxiety.
While on our layover day in Fernandina Beach, KK took sometime to watch Pedal Through . An REI presentation about three women who take take a week long trip bike packing through the Oregon backcountry. Two women have never ridden off pavement or have gone camping are joined by their friend Brooklyn Bell as they share their first time experience with the trip. This spurred a great conversation about being a beginner again. The amount of courage that it takes to be in that role as an adult, as women, as a person in the outdoors. It is not something we are willing to embrace because all the media that is pumped into our feeds is telling us that there is only two statuses: observer and pro. When the beginner does show up in our feed, it is to laugh at the person making their mistake. Not empathize with them.
To be a beginner again is a pretty cool place to be and can be a hard place to get to sometimes. I know that I put these strange expectations that I should immediately know what I doing. Having the confidence to jump right in and then be good at it. Well, you can’t get good at something unless you make mistakes and learn along the way. In the outdoor world we are flooded with all this media of people doing very hard things with grace and perfections. What we don’t see is all the crashes and bloody knuckles it took to get there.
This expedition has given me the chance to be a beginner again. After a few humbling moments, I have come to the place of embracing it. Having fun with the discovery and the opportunity. Each day another chance to figure something out. Ask questions. Trace the wire line. Understand the boat and myself. The acceptance of being a beginner has given me more confidence to dive in.