I had the opportunity to head back to my hometown for a long weekend to visit with my family. I was originally planning on traveling back a couple weeks prior, but Hurricane Florence decided to visit North Carolina the day my flight was supposed to leave. I had to postpone the trip and deal with the damage we incurred. After a couple of weeks, I was set to head back to Michigan for a long weekend. The plan was to spend time with family and score some kite sessions.
Traveling to Michigan always puts me in a state of nostalgia, it reminds me of my journey into the sport of kiteboarding. My kite roots were planted in a town called East Tawas. After taking just one lesson, all bets were off, all plans and engagements were subject to change based on the wind. Kiteboarding gave me the release I was looking for; it gave me the release I didn’t know I was missing. Working in the auto industry, I spent long days on the assembly line dreaming of my next session. I was able to transport myself away from the shop, placing myself on a white sandy beach in my mind. Ultimately, the mental escape while working on the assembly line was not enough and I left the auto industry, but I digress.
I made it to Detroit Thursday evening and by Friday; I was heading north for my first kite session in East Tawas in nearly a decade. As I drove north, I reconnected with the 27 year old me that did this drive at the drop of a hat. Along the route, I would be checking the trees to see if they were swaying to the beat of about 20 knots. I reflected back on what it meant to me to make that drive, to arrive to the state park and see others in the parking lot getting ready. I remember walking over the dune to catch a glimpse of Lake Huron in all of its beauty. It gave me butterflies in my stomach, so much excitement, so much unknown, so much for me to find out.
I reconnected with this feeling when I got back to Tawas. What I realized during this short trip is the feeling has never left me in the years I have been participating in the sport. Kiteboarding is still new to me all the time, still fresh, still something that I love dearly. Teaching the sport allows me to stay connected to the exciting feeling I got when I was new. This passion drives me to continue to guide others into the sport. Kiteboarding gave me a life I would have never imagined. I hope others will grab onto that life, one kite lesson at a time. I’m not suggesting that you should take a lesson and then leave your career, but I’m also not, “not” suggesting that.
I ended up scoring 3 kite sessions and got to reconnect with some great friends that I have not seen in a long time. We chatted at a friend’s house and they asked how my kiteboarding school was doing in North Carolina. I answered them honestly by saying we are overwhelmed by the positive results that we see and the enthusiasm we find in our students. Another benefit of getting into the sport is meeting the amazing and unique people that it attracts. We are all so different in so many ways, but we connect and understand each other on a deeper level because of the common thread that binds us. That thread is a kite stitch, the wind, and the pursuit of adventure. There is nothing in my life I would rather be doing, and I hope we can be your guides into this amazing way of life. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.