A few weeks ago, I started a paddle down the Scioto River that I always wanted to take. Ever since my buddy Sam and I first paddled this river in Columbus after college, a piece of me has always wanted to finish this paddle the rest of the way to the Ohio River and head to Cincinnati.
Well that paddle trip can now be crossed off my bucket list. The problem with that though…it’s not the “Great Loop”.
June 1st I set off to begin paddling the Great Loop of the United States. After twice having to come off the water, 1st for a lost tail fin on my paddleboard, and 2nd to replace electronic gear, I thought I would just pick up and finish my trip by starting in Columbus.
What could be better? I would get to paddle the trip I have always wanted and eventually hit the Tennesse River to rejoin my Great Loop route.
Problem was…I want to do my Loop right.
I didn’t think it would bother me that I would take a detour through Columbus to the Ohio River and come towards the Tennessee from the opposite way. Only thing is…it did.
On the day I was to reach Cincinnati, I woke up in the morning with the feeling in my gut. The feeling that knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with myself unless I went back to finish the last few miles of Lake Michigan and continue to make the true “Loop” around the U.S.
I didn’t want to take shortcuts or cheat my route. To me…this decision was personal. It was to prove to myself that I could succeed or fail at the original goal I set, without taking the easy way out. It was to push myself to stay committed to the adventure of a lifetime, while challenging every fiber of my being both mentally and physically.
As I started towards Cinci that morning, I should have been pumped that I would get to see the Queen City from the water. Instead, while I was excited to see it, I knew that my place wasn’t on this part of the Ohio River. I had to go back to Lake Michigan to resume my trip.
In my life, I have always done things pretty well. I was an alright athlete, an alright student, an alright employee, but I never have felt, maybe aside from possibly coaching, that I have ever pushed myself to be great, and to see my true potential. I was always content with just knowing I could compete, or that I coukd take tests without studying and still do ok. With this trip…I didn’t want to settle for just alright…I wanted to do it right.
This is one of the 1st things I have ever done that I wanted to truly give my best effort towards. I may not finish it, or the trip still may prove too difficult, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try my best and give it 110%. I want to see my original result through, no matter the outcome. It is a personal challenge to myself to see how far I can push myself and to know that I honestly in the end will have given my best effort in seeing it through.
All this being said…I will go back to where I left off of in Lake Michigan to continue my trip. I have enjoyed my detour down the Scioto and Ohio Rivers and thank all of the people that have made this side trip so special. It is truly appreciated.
I know with cold weather approaching, many Marinas will be closing soon for the winter and along with my dwindling funds, I think that it is best to pick up a little work now for the winter, and continue my trip and journey around The Great Loop next spring. I will work to repad my bank account and get geared up to continue chasing my dream again the 1st sign of warm weather next year.
I still may update the blog with a few more adventures throughout the winter, so hopefully you all will continue to check in and stay in touch through these winter months. I appreciate each and everyone of you who have supported, helped or followed along with my journey. You all mean the world to me and I hope to have you along for the ride when we continue next spring!
For now…let’s see what this Winter Break will bring!