The Walt Grace

20160604_054805“And for once in his life, it was quiet;     As he learned how to turn in the tide.”

About 3 years ago, I road tripped to Pensacola Beach. There for the 1st time I saw something that captivated me, and I knew right then and there…”I have to get one of those”. It was the first time I had ever seen or heard of a paddleboard. I had a kayak, but to see this girl, riding the waves, and having the time of her life…I began dreaming. I wanted one so bad, I just felt my money starting to burn a hole right in my pocket.

Needless to say, I began searching for “the perfect one”. I didn’t want one just to use on small lakes in Ohio, not just on my beach vacations but I wanted it to go EVERYWHERE.

And did I find the perfect one! In the two and a half years since buying it right after that Pensacola trip, my Imagine Surf Paddleboard has been on every road trip I’ve taken. The one thing it has been missing was a name.

Something I wanted so bad, just couldn’t be slapped with some common name. Something without thought. It had already been through to much with me.

It wasn’t until the drive up to Michigan, to begin this once in a lifetime  adventure, that the name hit me, “The Walt Grace.”

For those of you who don’t listen to great music, John Mayer’s Walt Grace Submarine Test, January 1967 is a song you should check out. My brother and I have always loved this song. John’s songwriting in this tune depicts, Walt and what an imagination and drive can lead to.

For me, the name of my boat had to be “The Walt Grace”. His chorus of the song echoed in my mind on the drive up and how true it rang for me and why I am on this adventure.

‘Cause when you’re done with this world
You know the next is up to you
And his wife told his kids he was crazy
And his friends said he’d fail if he tried’

So many people thought of this trip as crazy, can’t do it or why would you want to. I heard all of the negatives. Why quit a great job, why leave for 2 years, what’s the point.

For me, it is first and foremost to help prepare me for when “I’m done with this world”, and getting ready for my next. Secondly, it is to help others, especially kids through the A Kid Again charity. And also in any other way I can impact and inspire people along the way. But lastly, it’s just for me. Like Walt, it is to still be able to say you can dream a dream and make it happen. No matter what others think…it is to test myself and push me to do something that will test every aspect of my being. To make me feel alive, free and chasing my own dream to see the world.

With that, I hope this journey continues to unfold what has so far been the greatest adventure of my life. Seeing new places, meeting new people, all while riding the waves aboard “The Walt Grace.”

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