Sure we are spontaneous, full of life, and have an unquenchable thirst for adventure. We still have that child like wonder and want to be having fun exploring rivers and woods at all times. Sounds like it would be fun to date us and it usually is in the beginning. But once things get a little more serious, something will change and you won't know why. You may ask us to go away for a weekend to a wedding of someone we never met when its June and the paddling is good, rivers are still at spring levels, or its prime rock climbing season and we'd just much rather be doing that. That's usually when things start to go down hill fast. What you don't know is that we are extremely stubborn and often time unwilling to compromise ourselves and lifestyle. Truth is we enjoy our life and how we are. Granted, its hard for me to make any relationship last more than 15 minutes and at this point in my life, relationships just are not a priority. But here's some tips if you still want to date that typical adventure athlete.
1. We travel a lot. We spend weeks or sometimes months planning a trip to the middle of nowhere so we can paddle some obscure stretch of river and you'll probably get sick of hearing about it. Living room floors will be covered with gear and dehydrated meals spread out all over for at least a week while we pack.
2. We wont invite you. Don't take offense to it but we've been doing it a long time and often it's not a trip for beginners. It's going to be the kind of trip we like to call Type 2 or 3 fun. Where pretty much the whole time we are miserable, long tough days where we are just cranking out the miles, climbing elevation, or getting worked in some rapids and questioning what we were doing out there. Sure after the trip we are going to say we had a blast and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. But the truth is we already know we are going to struggle and dont want to have to worry about you when we just need to focus on our own trip. Doesn't mean we won't take you on a fun weekend trip so you can get your feet wet though! We'll happily teach you everything you want to know, just not on that kind of trip.
3. We collect gear and lots of it. We take up full garages or basements with our camping gear, tents, SUP boards, kayaks, paddles, rock climbing gear. We won't stop either. We'll keep buying more so just have to deal with it. There's a specific piece and size of gear for every kind of adventure.
4. When we buy a new kayak or SUP board, don't ask us to get rid of one of our other ones. This is kind of a red flag that just shows you don't understand us. It's a deal breaker and we don't need that kind of negativity in our life. But to better explain, there's a kayak or board for every type of trip. Example, I have a expedition touring board, race/touring board, 11ft inflatable to run rivers, a shorter river board, ill be getting a competition race board soon, 12'6 and a 14' then you have your all-around boards. Cant forget about SUP surfboards too. Don't worry, we have a specific paddle we like to use for each as well. Yes we need all of them.
5. Our paddling gear stinks. Just deal with it. Our car is always going to have that damp wet clothes musty smell to it. From our water shoes, wetsuits, dry suits, PFDs, to kayak skirts. Stuff gets wet and if it's sunny when we get home, we'll lay it out to dry. But last thing we want to do at 11pm when we get home is unload our gear when we are just going to put it on and get it wet again in the morning.
6. We have no fashion sense. Paddlers are the worst at this. We wear baggy ill fitted dry suits and awkward bootys on our feet but we never care what we look like cause the water is 30 degrees and keeps us warm so we can paddle year round. We have no problem walking into a store for a energy drink wearing it either, kayak skirt and all. Summer time? Endless amounts of board shorts.
7. Every weekend is reserved for being outdoors. When I have to spend a weekend accompanying you to someone's birthday party that I don't know, all I can think about is how I wish I was on the water. Doesn't even matter if I did have fun...i would of had more fun paddling with the guys and just feel guilty I let a beautiful day get by without touching our paddle to water. Sure it's always fun, but we want to progress, practice our craft, or try new tricks we've been thinking about.
8. Too carefree for our own good. We can spend everyday waking up in a tent or hammock, go days without a shower or working toliets. We don't need running water. We are fine with eating dehydrated meals everyday. Ramen is still just as delicious as it was when I was 13. Point is we don't really need all those little things people take for granted cause we're used to living without them. So when electric goes out, or hot water heater quits working...dont expect us to jump up to fix it right away. We can be resourceful though and will cook you an amazing dinner over a campfire out back!
9. Communication while away is never going to be good. We are often in some gorge where there is no cell service. And if there is service, our phone is in a drybag, strapped to the deck of our board or in a kayak dry hatch as we are paddling through a rapid and the last thing we are going to do is answer a call or text. If we are on a multiple day adventure, our phone will be off to conserve battery power for the evening so we can download all our gopro images to our phone. If we do have service, we will try to give you a nightly call....well unless there's a campfire and PBR. Then we are just enjoying our company and surroundings.
10. Social Media is for adventure photos. Some of us are ambassadors for gear companies so we try and post only paddling or adventure inspired high resolution well shot photos to build our network and following. So we are not going to post that blurry couple selfie we took while in the chipotle line last week.
11. We are usually broke. All our money goes to trips, travel, gear. Even if your adventure athlete is a pro. He (or she) is not making big bucks unless maybe you're dating a world class famous athlete who is off competing and winning every weekend. But 99.9% of the time, gold diggers should look elsewhere.
Still wanting to date an adventure athlete? Good! Cause we are still great people and crave emotional connection just like everyone else. Just know we are wildly independent creatures and put our heart and soul into everything we do. Don't try to change us, but accept us for how we are. We don't have to share every adventure together so space is important. The time away is good for us to grow as individuals and gives us a chance to miss what we have back home.