Longevity: The Secret to a Healthy Life & How to Live Longer

The whole family gets in on the fun!

“There’s no silver bullet for longevity. I’m not gonna tell you to take a pill. If your three best friends are obese, there’s a good chance you will be. Surrounding yourself with people who don’t smoke or drink too much and who have a spiritual component in their lives has a profound impact over time. Cut out the toxic people in your life and spend time and effort augmenting your social circle with people who have the right values and a healthy lifestyle.” – Dan Buettner

The fam plus two ready to run the Ocoee River in TN.
The fam plus two ready to run the Ocoee River in TN.

Ok, show of hands, who wants to learn to kayak and wants their kids to learn to kayak?  

That’s a lot of hands, as it should be because kayaking is the most amazing family activity we’ve done to date.  Woah, wait, that’s a loaded statement because we do a lot of cool activities.  But I stand behind that statement.

We, like, love kayaking and love sharing it with people across the country.  It’s really not a hard sport to get into, and despite what you might think, it’s not all 100′ waterfalls, insane river runs and near death experiences … of course that’s out there, but that’s not what kayaking is to the majority of people out there.

Kayaking is testing your own personal limits, bonding with your family and friends and a whole, and I mean a whole lotta fun.

In today’s crazy busy world, and you know what I’m talking about, people are run down, they are tired, they get sick a lot, they are burnt out on life, I know so many of you are nodding your head, you are hearing me.

But, guess what?  You have the power to change all that. Yeah, you really do!  You are the captain of your own ship!  It’s a little frightening, but a lot exciting.

You can choose everything about your life.  Where you live, what you drive, where you work, who you marry, how many kids you want, where you vacation, whether you are going to live longer … even what you do in your down time.

Don’t have down time?  That too is a choice.  I have a friend who is going to start guest blogging who has made it her life’s work to not be busy and to make her kids not be busy.  Being busy is a plague.  It’s the excuse we tend to hide behind for everything.

So what do you do to reduce your stress?  What in your life (other than your spouse and your kids) is your go-to for unwinding and rejuvenating?

For us, it’s adventure.

More than anything, kayaking has the magical power for us. I can be in a really REALLY pissy mood (yep, yeah me — I’m moody and have a temper) and if I get in my kayak, all that is washed away.  I’m renewed.  I need fun.  Don’t you need fun in your life?

After playing in the Pigeon River hole  in TN!!
After playing in the Pigeon River hole in TN!!

My whole life has revolved around fun, much to my mom’s regret.  I haven’t taken much seriously, like school was all social, sports were the same, and jobs were the same.  I excelled at making friends.

When Dan and I got married we tried to take life really seriously.  I mean EVERYONE was telling us we were adults and we had a baby on the way, we had to buckle down and get careers, we had to make money, we had to “pay our dues”.

We did that for at least 10 years, fighting to get ahead, forging into debt, focusing on income and income alone.

What a drag of a life. We were like 26 and burned out!  I know, I know, everyone else does it, that’s what we were told, but at what cost?  Like seriously?  And for what?

For expensive cars?  Designer clothes (my downfall)?  A houseful of furniture?  A huge house, beyond anything you could ever need? A Chef (I’m jelly if you have a chef), a nanny (I’m sad for you if you have a nanny)?  High end preschool (I definitely don’t know you).  I mean like for realz, what are we working our lives away for?

You are aware you can’t take any of it with you, right?  I’m not saying not to work, I’m not advocating quitting your careers and going on public assistance.

I’m not advocating becoming a beach bum, although really, that’s my second calling in life.  Really, if I hadn’t become a mom, my back-up was to be on the beach somewhere being a beach bum and doing whatever beach bums do.

But I’m a mom, thank God, and Dan’s a dad and that means we have responsibilities that we take pretty darn seriously. We have to feed them, clothe them, educate them, and like, raise them to be good people, to love God above all else and a gazillion other things..  It’s a big deal.  Being a parent is a big BIG deal.

That does not mean we cannot take time away from responsibility.  And the river is one of those places where every concern is wiped away, your brain is literally cleared of every thought other than what is directly in front of you.

See the smiles ... that's what kayaking does!
See the smiles … that’s what kayaking does!

It is heavenly and I’d love to share this with you and your kids.  I really really would.  I think the world needs more paddlers.  I only know one angry paddler and she has serious issues!!  LOL.  Every other paddler I know seems to have found the holy grail.  Peace amidst the chaos.

We all need this break, we all need a brief escape from reality, every single day.

Dan and I figured that out early on, as we were falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of that corporate ladder climb.  We realized to maintain our sanity and be great parents we had to do something fun and adventurous every day. And the fact that our kids can join us is the cherry on top.

Find your adventure, today.  And if you are interested in kayaking, or caving or climbing or snowboarding, we travel a ton … holler at us if we are in your neck of the woods and let’s go adventuring together!!

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