Blogs by River Master Rob

Growing up I must have heard this phrase from my mom and dad a hundred times. They drilled this into me as well as hundreds of other clichés over the years. As I matured I came to realize that mom and dad were spot on with most of their sayings and I came to understand that I was not the smart person in the room. Far from it. Then I had kids and I started to use the same words on my children. I would catch myself sounding exactly like my parents, doling out wisdom that had been passed down from generation to generation. Some of it I find funny like “don’t play with that rubber band you are going to put someone’s eye out” or, “don’t run with scissors.” Most of us can relate to these sayings. Some I never really understood like, “after you eat you can’t get back in the water for 30 minutes.” Is this some magical number? Why can’t I go swimming? As a parent I never instituted that rule. There are a few sayings that mom and dad continued to say and only as I grew older and had my own kids did I come to understand fully. “Nothing beats experience” is one of these. As a kid I really did not pay that much attention to it, because everything I did was experience in one form or the other. Kids came along and all that changed. We would sit around and talk about how someday we need to ___________ (you fill it in). I started to come to a new understanding of that phrase and I realized that maybe it was not directed at me so much as it was a reminder to themselves. They continued to say this over and over so they would not fall into the rut of all talk and no action. Over the years I have told this to myself many many times. Always reminding me of action because telling my children about and experience is not living one. As a parent I tried to make sure that my kids got their hands dirty and did not sit by and watch. Now they are grown and I miss planning those experiences and then watching as my kids learned and grew through them. All that said it is “never too late,” (cliché intended) to get out and get dirty. Grab the kids up or call some friends and have an good old fashion experience. Who knows what might come of it. I know a couple things at least; laughter, smiles and connection. It doesn’t have to be a huge vacation either; it can be a day trip, whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River. Getting out and enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family. That is what is all about. See you out there!