14 Life Lessons My 14ft Race Board Taught Me
by Kyle Kushner
1. GET A NEW PERSPECTIVE
I like to go about a mile offshore and look back at the city. So quiet and peaceful from out there. It always recharges me with a new perspective. Sometimes we must physically remove ourselves from the chaos and the noise to gain a new clear perspective. It helps give a new way of looking at any situation or circumstance.
2. CHARGE AS HARD AS YOU CAN
When I race, there’s always someone in front of me and behind me. It doesn’t matter where we are at any moment. What matters is that we know we are doing our best. ALWAYS do your best. Charge as hard as you can. Win or lose; knowing you did your best is all that matters.
3. STAY BALANCED
On a race board in the ocean, this is imperative for obvious reasons but in daily life; we must constantly remind ourselves. Work, relationships, health, and family can all be so overwhelming. Always give what you can but make room for what you need. Take an assessment. What have you been neglecting? What needs some attention, and what needs less?
4. VALUE YOUR LEASH
My leash has saved my life a few times. They can be a pain, but I was sure happy I had one when I needed it. Value your friends and all your loved ones. They can be such a lifeline at times when we need help. Let them know when you need them and show them you care.
5. KNOW YOUR DIRECTION
It’s usually best to plan your route when paddling and when navigating life. Have purpose and intent on where you are headed. Define for yourself where you’d like to go and why, then, again, do your best to get there.
6. HAVE GRATITUDE
Sometimes it is actually good to stop charging too hard on and off the water. We must stop and smell the roses (or sometimes the pelican poop, haha). There is beauty all around. If we move too fast, we might miss it. Find an appreciation in all the little things you usually take for granted.
7. FLOW WITH THE TIDE, NOT AGAINST IT
When I find the tide’s flow direction, I go faster and with more ease. Resisting flow causes conflict. Be willing to have acceptance for how things are going, good or bad. Don’t resist. Find the momentum and go with it. Life has funny ways of letting us know it’s time for a change. When we don’t fight it, we give way to new opportunities.
8. EYES UP!
When paddling, always keep your eyes up. We lose sight of what’s in front of us when looking down. This is dangerous on the water, and it’s counterproductive in life. With your eyes up, you’ll make informed decisions and see the obstacles that may be in front of you.
Always stay hydrated when paddling so your body and mind stay optimized for performance. Hydrate your body and mind regularly with exercise (and water, of course) to remain optimized in life. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and perform better.
10. HAVE SELF-AWARENESS
Certain conditions on the water call for truly being aware of one’s level of ability and skill. It can actually be a matter of life or death. In daily life, we must work on having self-awareness for different reasons, but they are equally as important. Be conscious of yourself and your actions. Have an awareness of yourself to be more thoughtful and less reactive. When we make rash or impulsive decisions, we lack the self-awareness that might otherwise tell us to choose more wisely.
11. WEAR SUNSCREEN
Just wear sunscreen. That’s it.
12. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
Rest and sleep are so vital for racing and for performing in life. Always prioritize rest and sleep. You’ll never be at your best without it. You’ll also live a longer, healthier life, so get plenty of sleep.
13. HAVE FUN
Yes, races are competitive and can get serious, but at the end of the day, it’s just a race. You can’t win them all, so lighten up, have fun, and enjoy life. You don’t have to be so serious all of the time. Everything’s not a competition, and remember, we’re all on our own paths.
14. NEVER GIVE UP
When the storm clouds roll in, and the wind picks up, pushing you out to sea, you can never give up.
When you lose your job, or your business, or your home burns down, or the person you love says they don’t love you anymore, or you lose a friend, or you lose a family member, or your bank account goes negative, or your car won’t start, or your child pushes you away, or that bully embarrasses you, or the doctor says it’s not good, or you feel completely alone, or you have no more energy left, or you feel like you can’t get out of bed, or you feel worthless, or you feel like your world is imploding, or you feel like you can’t go on, NEVER NEVER EVER GIVE UP.
Remember life is always flowing with the tide, and the tides are always changing.
Don’t resist, just flow and know it’s always only just a moment.
Moments change, and they pass.
Life will go in so many directions that we cannot control.
But, if we flow and never give up, we’ll always inevitably find our way back to the shore.
Be well and live well my friends,
Kyle G. Kushner
Kyle is a web designer and owner of KGK Digital.
( He recently built a site for PRO SUP SHOP - check it out! )