Last weekend we had a change – Sarah and I went tandem White Water canoeing with some lovely friends in the OCA.
Our goal for this trip was different. Rather than thinking about food, miles to travel, or posture, it was about play and praise.
It’s easy (for me) to be grumpy in a boat. Long, cold days. Either you can’t steer or you can’t see. We risk of falling in the water. (I really don’t like water!)
I’ve noticed that as a pair in a boat, we have good days and bad days. Sometimes we learn; and sometimes we argue. Rarely do they happen at the same time.
I wanted to work on that, and turn up the good times and the learning.
When we are relaxed, we are ready to experiment. When we feel safe, we might try new things without fear of failure. I was hoping that intending to play got us relaxed, let us try novel new things, and just have fun.
How do I create and sustain this atmosphere? I wanted to try positiveness, praise, talking. Building circles of good feeling.
It was sickening, but in a good way! Our friends on the river told us so.
They laughed at us saying silly thing and being ourselves, and they were disturbed that we praised every good thing the team did. We even got some comments in the evening.
Did it work for us?
I think it did. We were a little looser and dynamic in the boat. More relaxed about mistakes and able to respond and accept each other. White water tandem paddling is hard, but the day felt easy.