I decided after Fibark that it was time to head home for a week. This Spring has been an incredible flurry of family events, kayaking events, business events, and more.

A few highlights:

1. My Wife, Kristine is now pregnant with a boy, due in October.

2. My Daughter, Emily, is now engaged to Nick Troutman, due to be married in April.

3. We are working extra hard at Jackson Kayak to assure its survival, to make sure it will be around for my kids, my partner, my executive team, my staff, my team, and my customers.

4. Emily became self-sufficient and pays her own way.

5. Dane tries to pay his own way but runs out of money from time to time.

6. Team Jackson Kayak has won all of the freestyle events of 2008 in Men’s and Women’s classes.

a. We took the top 6 places at the USA National Championships in Men’s class and top 5 in the Junior Men ‘s classes.

7. The Jackson Kayak RV is on its third engine in three months, but is running well now.

8. The Mini-Cooper was home to 5 boats, gear, 2 dogs, 3 people, and enough clothes for three weeks, as we covered over 2,000 miles of Fun Tour while the engine was getting fixed!

9. The All-Star, Funs, and Heroes are the customers’ choice among all whitewater models of those types in the market today! Our factory was able to keep up with demand!

10. We finished the 2008/9 Action Jackson (JK promo video)! I didn’t imagine that this year’s promo video would be as good as last years for some reason. The footage we had to work with and some of the editing ideas have created something that will remain in peoples DVD drives for a long time! We are only a week away from being able to duplicate it!

11. I got to do some cool TV stuff

a. Today Show with Emily

b. MSNBC show called “Your Business” that will air soon.

c. Documentary on the Jacksons by an independent producer.

I have been paddling very well this spring and, while I have only won two events this spring, (NAWF, and Reno), I have been in the top three in all but the BV event where I was 10th. Emily has been paddling really well and hasn’t lost a single event yet, and has only lost two rounds of any competition since August of last year. Dane is also paddling really well and was top three at the BV event and won two National Championship titles last weekend (C1 and Junior men).

Personally, I have a lot to learn about life in general and keeping a proper perspective and balance on a daily basis. My personality is such that I assume the best in people, and I expect that they’ll assume the best in me. The reality is that I am not very inquisitive about other people’s feelings and unless they offer it up to me, I never know when I am rubbing them the wrong way. While I rarely create a situation where I am on the receiving end of anger, I create passive aggressive feelings in people that don’t want to tell me I am doing something wrong. That is something I haven’t known before and would be too obtuse to recognize. I also have to watch my capacity levels and make sure I am not overloaded at all times. While I get bored quickly and need a ton of difficult short term and long term tasks to do in order to be happy, I need to leave a little bit of safe zone where I can fall back on when everything gets tough all at once. I’ll let you know when I create that safe zone! Jackson Kayak isn’t in the safe zone yet as the challenges of running a start-up have been sufficient enough to keep us running in the red for the first 4 seasons. We won’t accept this again in the future, and are taking some fairly extreme measures to assure that we can take care of our debt, our staff, and assure that we are around for a long time. This is a good test of our team, as well as my leadership. I do like tests, however.

What I haven’t done in three months is to just stop. This weekend is just that. I am hanging out with Kristine and I am stopped for a couple of days. Kristine and I did take a day off at Napa a month ago for Mother’s Day, but being home is quite a cool thing after a long trip.

Next week will be a big week for me at Jackson Kayak as I haven’t been here since early April. I am excited to see the staff again! Rock Island isn’t running this weekend and it is fairly dry. I hope it will run Monday. I haven’t paddled in warm water since April either. Skin to win is the way to go!

I am going to wake Kristine up and see if she wants to play back-gammon. Dane is wakeboarding with some local kids today. Emily and Nick are on the Ottawa. KC is sleeping inside Kristine and I want him to hurry up and come out so I can play with him too. Dane is really excited to have a little brother. He couldn’t wait to help put up KC’s crib. Another kayaker on the way? We’ll find out in a few years!

🙂

EJ