ON THE WATER
One of the awesome things about extreme sports like kayaking is you learn a bit of calling people on their bullshit, but also respecting them for growing as an individual person, and if someone is full of crap, they are risking death by desiring to be something they aren’t ready for, and it might just happen anyway. Self doubt can be a painful learning experience, so can over confidence. Knowing your limitations but figuring out how much you can stretch them can be really rewarding
Emotions also run high on the river and must be controlled, or you risk dangerous and risky situations, you befriend and grow close to unlikely people. The kinds of whitewater experiences that help one to grow and mature as a boater requires seeking out others who are willing to take the journey with you and show you the way and also be somewhat responsible for the possibility something seriously f’d up could happen. Sometimes to satisfy your urge, you meet someone at the put-in who you might be meeting for the first time after talking on the internet and exchanging a few phone calls. You might have mutual friends. They may be the only person you’ve found who is passionate enough about the sport to take the specific risk you are deciding to take by riding on this river.
You can learn a lot about people this way. You learn trust and caution, all based on observation. It’s also nice to know someones there to haul you out of the river if you’re about to die.