At 44 years old, I can’t tell you how many people have told me, over the past 26 years (since I was 18), that it was time to stop playing games, and get serious. At first, I was a rebel, I guess you would say, in my own mild way, and decided that “no way” I want to compete and do the things that I think are fun. While I still think that having fun is one of the most important things in life, you have to ask yourself at some point… at what cost?

I have figured out that my dollar per hour value, as it increases, makes each kayaking session I do more expensive and more disruptive to the health of my company and my customers. If I just replaced ½ of the time I spent kayaking with working time, it would make such a difference it is almost impossible to not pay attention to.

Believe me when I tell you that I have thought this one through before announcing it. I own a kayaking company, yet I am the only person who owns a kayaking company that paddles like I do. Sure there are other companies that have former paddlers, and semi-active paddlers as part owners of companies, but nobody is silly enough to paddle every day, even during the week, during business hours.

When I was deciding this, I had to think of what else I could do to assure that my quality of life wasn’t diminished if I really went through with it. I have found several really fun activities that can be done, and get me outdoors, that may be the solution. Remember that quality of life is what I believe is the most important. It is quite different for each of us, but here is what I figure.

1. Golf- You can golf 1 time/ week with clients, etc. and actually be doing business! How can you beat that?
2. Frisbee Golf- for when you are truly in granola territory and nobody will go golfing with you.
3. Biking- great exercise and the cars are starting to really watch out for bikers now. I can bring the kids and Kristine and they don’t stress everytime a pickup goes by.
4. Fishing- Ever notice that when the drought hits the fish still bite, and you can go after work and it is still light out? Even night fishing, sweet!

I am also learning about wines and you can spend hours just sampling and trying wines in the evening, with clients, friends, and co-workers and not get bored. Just remember to drink lots of water!

What is a good time to retire? When you are on top, of course! As the current World Champion, and World Cup Champion, I have won every title I could want, and if I were to start competing this season, I would end up getting sucked in and wasting the opportunity cost of yet another year of productive work. Kristine and I spent a lot of time thinking about this. We even decided to have another baby. You can’t kayak if you have a new born baby! That seals the deal as Kristine is 10 weeks pregnant. I am serious!

Meanwhile- I am open for business. This is serious stuff! If you want to ask me questions about my kayaking, etc.. it will have to wait. Want to talk about my golf handicap, I’m all ears!

EJ

April fools- I’ m trained up and ready to rock! Bring on the kayaking!!! That is what life is all about!