1. Be creative and flexible.Cross-training is an all-inclusive event for Lina. Cross-country skiing, biking or running while pulling a “land chariot” filled with kids is her new normal. In warmer months, she strolls to the beach while pulling the chariot with one hand and carrying an inflatable SUP in the other.
2. Communicate.Andrea says, “Nothing is worse than blindsiding a spouse or kids with unexpected paddling, especially when they might have their own plans. Communication helps prevent frustration.” Considering everybody’s schedules, priorities or commitments may not be easy, but it can help avoid bigger problems.
3. Be ready. Because opportunities to paddle often come spontaneously, I keep a box of gear in my car at all times. When I find an unexpected gap in my schedule, I hit the water. It also helps to have a bag packed with workout or water clothes, a warm layer, and something you can pull on after a paddle to run into the grocery store without looking like a complete wild woman.
4. Take time, give time.Invite your kids along on paddling adventures with you. Weekdays are kid’s days for Bronwyn. If she is able to make it onto the water, she makes sure they are out there too.
5. Block out the negative chatter.Not everyone will view your paddling passion in a positive light. There will always be those who make quick judgments without seeing the positive benefits.
Last but not east, remember: there are only so many hours in a day, and grasping a few of them to paddle or train may be the goal right now, but days and years fly by. Suddenly, our children will be grown and striking out on their own paths, so make the most of every moment with them now. Find your personal balance, guide them well, give them the tools they need to learn how to paddle their own boards and enjoy the glide together!