I wasn't one to ever really join clubs as a kid, at least I don't remember doing so. I was briefly in Brownies, once was a member of the St. Mary's Academy Athletics Club, but then all the students who attended school there were members because that way you could play sports either on a team league or during lunch hour. In some instances I formed my own club...like tree climbing when I was 8-10 which was an all girl "club" but only in an effort to out climb the boys in my neighbour. As always, it was fun until someone got hurt, in this case me, and we stopped the whole thing.
Sure I go to the gym, but I don't consider this a club. It is my choice, something I've been doing for years and where I find peace, a way to release stress and is good for my health.
Now I find myself a member of a club, only I'm not sure of the name if there is one or if it is merely a common bond. It started last summer, or rather the late Fall and has progressed to be something more ever since I purchased my new kayak. It is the casual eye contact of the passenger in the car next to me stopped at the lights, kayaks strapped to the roof of both vehicles, checking out my new boat and us both smiling. Me with delight that someone noticed my new kayak and the other person remembering what it was like when his own boats were new. It is the neighbour on my street strapping his kayaks to his van, and as I walk by mentioning I like his boats only mine is nicer, and then stopping to chat about kayaks, and where is he headed for the day.
It is the thrill I get when talking to one of the organizers of PaddleFest in Ladysmith and her "envy" that I own a Delta and how awesome my boat is. This from someone who has demoed many kayaks in her time. It is attending PaddleFest, taking courses and scoring some great deals.
It is talking to other paddlers about equipment, safety, and great places to paddle.
It is the secret smile, the nod of the head, the light in the eyes of a fellow paddler. It is forming our paddle group and expanding it. It is this blog....
If it is a club, then Groucho Marx was wrong!