The Fairy Dance of the Oligarchs
Show me sunset and I won’t forget
That I am one of two planets dancing
I am part of two planets dancing
– bat for lashes
What is important is often confused with what is required. What is required is rarely important at all, other than to those who require it. What is important is often very different. Thing is, sometimes you must do what is required in order to be free to do what is important… (yeah, it’s one of those posts…)
Right now I’m working to get back in good graces with the Gods of the ACA thanks mostly to a good friend who is helping to get my paddling life organized. I don’t know about you but I find the whole certification system to be just tiring. Expensive… and tiring. To be fair it’s not really an ACA thing, I find all “officiousness” of any sort to be tiresome regardless of its necessity. Having to drive downtown to get a burning permit.. or find some old grandma-lady to renew my dog license is tiring. We’ve turned our bloody lives into a series of forms, fees and ques where everything we do in life has to be sanctioned and approved by someone who could give a damn what we’re doing in the first place or even if we’re alive to do it. Bah!
Now we do need some way to tell if a coach will keep our students alive. On the other hand certification can’t really do that. It can only certify that you’ve passed a test, listened to a lecture or paid some fees. It can’t certify that you won’t panic when the **** hit’s the fan or that you’ll notice the upside-down kayak when you’re lost in the high of extolling your expertise from the cockpit of your custom ultra-light kayak. Add to that, what student actually cares, or knows anything about kayak coaches being certified? It’s hard enough to get them to wear a life jacket as it is. Therein lies the weakness in all “coaching” certification bodies and why the whole process has to be taken with a grain of salt. In the end those most effected are usually the members themselves. They’re the ones filling out endless forms, attending classes, lectures and re-certs (In kayaking & First Aid), taking time off work, traveling to this event or that one with little compensation all the while figuring out where find the cash to pay the various fees to remain “certified”. In the real world there are great coaches who are not certified and god-awful coaches who proudly wear their bloody ACA patches sewn to their PFDs! There are days when you can’t help but wonder if it’s all a big game.
Now don’t miss my point here.. I do recognise the need for governance and yet I also feel we spend too much of our lives being officious instead of simply conscientious. Heck, the reason I got into kayaking in the first place was because the wind and the waves don’t give a ****. They don’t care who I know, what classes I took, what I’ve done lately or what coach level I’ve achived. They’d just as soon drown me as give me a ride. The freedom is the whole point, not the club memberships. There are times when it’s fairly obvious that all human structure is simply the haphazard cobbling of old grey men in short sleeves and wide ties who go to bed at night having dark fantasies about bikini clad women giving lectures in macroeconomics. Isn’t that what Mark Twain said? Maybe not…
You see, the reason I coach is because I simply love to watch people discovering how cool they really are. Therein lies their own freedom. Freedom over doubt, over fears, or like me the freedom to get the hell away for awhile! The reason I put my self through the ACA process is simply to afford those I teach for and with a bit of extra insurance (and assurance…) because in the end it doesn’t matter how how I feel about it personally, I still have to play by the rules if I want to play the game. For the moment, that joy of helping others learn is more than enough to tolerate the fairy dance of the oligarchs.
Hmmm, now I’ve also got that Wilderness First-Aid class just around the corner…
Disclaimer – Now if you’re about to take everything I wrote above as the absolute gospel of how I think and feel, you’ve not been around here long enough. What I think and feel at any given moment is anyone’s guess and subject to change in a fat rabbits heartbeat..(just ask anyone). My Opinions may be outright fictitious, imagined, or channeled through spirits on the other side. As for tomorrow? Who knows…