In all my adventures and accomplishments throughout the years, there was always something that involved public speaking or some kind of a public presentation. Whether it was in school when I gave speeches, addressing youth/apprentice snowboard instructors as a lead snowboard instructor, presenting to clients in my professional life or being on stage singing and playing music in the Chicago scene. I always seemed to feel comfortable once I was in the situation but nervous and reluctant before. Like many people and even professionals who are on the public forums day in and day out, it can be nerve wrecking for them as well. That butterflies in the stomach feeling is very common to them as much as it for me even to this very day. In a way though it reminds me this is a good thing because it alerts all your senses to the situation that is before you. Some might call this being scared but it's a positive reaction in my opinion and drives me to accomplish more so to feel this time and time again. One of these days I'd actually like to do an open mic at a club and do some comedy and let me tell you, I am scared out of my whits to even try but I know I must at some point to get over that hurdle and experience it. You see I believe you should always scare yourself whenever possible and I truly live by this creed that I believe to be my own. What that really means is that you should always challenge yourself whenever possible which brings me to the story at hand.
Brian had reached out to me via phone call and wanted to chat as we usually do every 1 or 2 days. We started talking about the fact that Scott Olson (former co-host of the podcast) wanted to step back for a while due to personal and professional reasons. Brian then asked me if I wanted to join as the new co-host on the podcast. So many thoughts ran through my mind and I was surprised mainly because I didn't see that coming but before I continue let me give you some background on how all this came about.
Scott is a great guy and my introduction to Brian is because of Scott. Scott had come to a local kayak demo run by Rocktown Adventures out of Aurora, IL (They have a store in Rockford, IL as well) looking for a new fishing kayak. I was more than willing to oblige. What's great about this is that Scott was able to choose a bunch of yaks to try out on the water since the shop is location across the street from the Fox River. During the on the water part of the demo Scott and I hit it off right off the bat and at the end of the demo I exchanged info with Scott in case he had anymore questions or wanted to hit the water together. Low and behold Scott emailed me and wanted me to join as their 1st guest on the podcast that Brian and Scott had started called "Paddle N' Fin Podcast". I was like sure I'd love to. I remember right before going on I was nervous because this was new territory for me and if anyone knows anything about the internet, "The internet is forever" meaning once it's out there, it's out there forever. As I thought more about it I became very aware that I will be speaking on a global scale of sorts and I didn't want to sound like a moron. I also realized that I would need to filter my normal self and speak in an appropriate manner lol. So much was weighing on my mind. It meant a lot to me to be afforded such an opportunity and I wanted to come across as my genuine self without stifling my normal course of conversation I have with my friends and family. I mean who wouldn't be right? So the day came when I was to be on the podcast and I remember before we stared Brian and Scott had a pre-talk with me and calmed me a bit. I had explained that I was a bit nervous and didn't want to sound like a dork. They quickly dispelled that and before I knew it we were recording the very 1st podcast I had ever been on. The experience was really nice and I was on a few more times after that.
Getting back to the question, Brian had just asked me if I wanted to join the podcast as his co-host. I remember pausing for a moment and so many thoughts ran through my mind much the same that had ran through my mind before coming on as a guest for the first time. My instincts were pushing me to run but I knew that if this is scaring me I should probably do it and that is exactly what I said to Brian in my response. "Yes I'll do it.", I said. I knew this was going to be the start of a new chapter for me and I couldn't let this get away. This was another avenue to expand into the kayak fishing industry and meet some more great people in and out of the sport. There are many over lapping aspects of the outdoor experience that contribute to the ever growing sport of kayak fishing. My love resides in the experience and adventure that comes with the new friendships that are forged in my drive for the sport. I am grateful for all the people that have helped me to get to this point and continue to support me as I move forward. My goal is to one day be able to make a living in this industry and share it but most importantly, have fun and enjoy each and every experience because if you love your job...it's not really a job at that point.