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Old 04-21-2006   #1
Caspian's Avatar
Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Anyone else ever burn-out?

I feel like I'm burning out on boating. I've been boating for 27 years (took my first swim at age 6), and pretty intensely for the last 7 years. Now I find I have zero motivation once I get to the river. I don't think it's a fear issue, because I'm bailing on running rivers that I know cold and have never been beat down on. But I really don't want to paddle once I get there. It's really frustrating. Especially with runoff on the way.

I've known a couple of amazing boaters from the SE who just lost all motivation and gave it up, some for years, some permanently. Anyone else have a similar experience? What did you do?

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Old 04-21-2006   #2
Sudbury, Ontario
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 20
Buy a new boat! Or, change style kayak to c1 or canoe. A day on the river is always a good day.

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Old 04-21-2006   #3
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
take a break, maybe even a summer and ride your mountain bike. dont do it if it dont feel good.
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Old 04-21-2006   #4
GAtoCSU's Avatar
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 696
Hey man,

Sorry to hear that you're feeling this way. I spent quit a bit of time racing and competing in freestyle when I was younger. I paddled on the water.. hmm.. 250+ days/year for atleast 4 years. One day I just decided to do something else.

I took 2 years off from boating (I would go every now and then.. maybe twice/year). I don't really regret taking that time off but, I wish that I would have just taken a step back from competing and just had a few days on the river for some soul boating.

I think that a lot of boaters get cought up in running the hard stuff or having to keep up on the freestyle scene. But, that's not what is important. What's inportant is having a good time on the river and kickin' it with your hommies. I turned my boating around after spending 26 miles on the Gauley with a few friends of mine. It was an awesome day.

Take some time off if you need to. But, before you do that.. Get back to the basics and paddle for yourself. I think that might help you find your mojo again.


AKA PEaches
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Old 04-21-2006   #5
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 81
I would get burned out too if I swam class III stuff all the time. Maybe you should try frisbee golf or yoga, sounds like you need a new hobby.
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Old 04-21-2006   #6
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 140
that sucks but I've been there with climbing and kayaking. For climbing, i agree with the previous statement. just do it for fun and yourself, at this point. trying to be the "best" climber burned me out. I still love it but just do it allot less, use it as a great excuse to travel to other countries and hang out with climbing buddies every couple years. the travel and exploring new places is keeping me interested now a days.

For kayaking, yeah, I quit but found that rafting fit me best. You hardcore kayakers tend to sneer abit at it but it works for me. i love the art of rowing and pulling up and camping by the river. Plus, being able to take my dad, family and friends on week long river/ fly fishing trips does it for me now.

No easy fix but good luck to you and I hope you are able to find something that fires you up again.
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Old 04-22-2006   #7
ski/kayak bum
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
variety is the spice of life.......

i feel for you. the nice thing about kayaking is that you can always come back. i quit college football after burning myself out as a senior and i've regreted it everyday since. but i cant go back....on a positive side i participated in life changing activities after.....if you chill for a while and pursue other stuff you'll miss it before you know it.....absence and fonder hearts or something.........


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Old 04-22-2006   #8
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,200
I hear you on the burnt out thing – Many days anymore I choose to sit on my porch, drink high life, and throw the ball for the dog rather than go paddlin.

Been boatin for over 25 years now and I look back to the blue dancer at the salider put in after my roll class that my parents made me take when I was in the 7th grade (yep did not want to go at first – reason = you can’t fish out of a kayak), anyway that feelin that kayakin gives you as you are learnin in the milk run, then as time goes on it takes browns, the numbers, piney, and lake just to get that same feelin. Lately I have been havin trouble gettin back to that dancer at salider. I still make it out and have a ton of enjoyable days but I have gotten away from paddlin every day.

Here is lately what I find keeps me comin back summer after summer. I try to incorporate a young, beginner, preferably fearless, somewhat athletic, and most importantly extremely motivated boater into my day to day paddlin routine. Watchin someone learn and havin them all fired up to get a personal first d on a run is enough to get me off the porch and on the river.

Last and don’t take this the wrong way but sometimes you need to walk away. If the enjoyment is not there leave until motivated to come back. This motivation may never return as is the case with me – I played college athletics and had the chance to play after college in Europe or CBA ball - by the time I was 23-24 I was soooo burnt. Burnt on weights, the gym, the plyo workouts, the pool, agility workouts, the camps, the coaches, the politics, or better put the entire scene. I walked away and haven’t picked up a ball since. The motivation still is just no there to do it or coach it so I don’t and my life has been better since.

Well now off to do somethin I am motivated to do - spring sledneckin and BC skiing! WWWWAAAAHHHHHOOOOO!
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Old 04-22-2006   #9
Charc in = charc out
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
i had a couple yrs years of being "over it" while in CO. mentally, i stepped away for a minute. i focused on building my career, hanging with my gf, snowboarding, other stuff for a little while. but i couldn't stay away for long. now, after 15 yrs as a kayaker, i'm as motivated & excited as i ever was.

like RDNEK, part of it has to do with runnin' with some younger, more fired-up, less jaded, less opinionated whippersnappers. their lack of responsibilities & apprehension makes for a paddling crew that isn't hung up on "it's too far", "it's too low", "i have to finish building my deck" .. their stoke is contagious. also, part of it has to do with getting back into photography & wanting to frame the lifestyle artistically with a camera. & the last part is that i moved to a place that is LITTERED with amazing gorges that haven't been explored, so the spirit of adventure & discovery that was a given when I first started kayaking, & then went away for a long time, is now my everyday.

try avoiding the chatboards for awhile. don't watch kayaking vids. separate yourself altogether for awhile .. then down the road, something will trigger your re-interest & you'll come to the realization that the athletic parts of kayaking are ingrained muscle memory & that the lifestyle/social parts are an integral part of the makeup of your personality.

& with that, i'ma go & pack up my gear. i got a new boat yesterday & robe canyon is dropping, so i gotta rope these seattle yuppies into it before it gets "too low" for them.
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Old 04-22-2006   #10
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 246
I was working in Costa Rica when one morning I looked at my boat I realized I didn't want to get in it. I have never been egulfed in kayaking since. What I have found is I prefer to focus on the people I'm hanging with and not the activity of boating. I end up on easier rivers but at least I'm with friends and family that motivate me and bring joy back into something I had lost much love.

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