By Keith Braun. All images ©2014 Keith and Anne Braun used by permission.
It may sound cliché, but opposites truly do attract! When you think about it in terms of a magnet attracted to metal it seems pretty simple. When you consider the scientific equation that defines the cause and effect:
It gets more complicated! When you look at it through the eyes of two naive kids in their 20’s preparing for marriage it becomes infinitely more complicated! Or, so it seemed! On June 20th, 1992 Anne and I shared vows to commit to a life together which was so exciting and yet filled with uncertainties. We both had great jobs, an amazing little home in a great community. We shared a common faith, had amazing friends and fabulous families and we both had our youth and our health! What more could a young couple need or want and yet where in all of this could any uncertainty come from? A week prior, our Pastor and marriage counselor congratulated us on redefining the term “opposites attract”! Apparently in the long questionnaires we completed as part of our marriage counseling and preparation, we couldn’t have been more opposite in the final results. He assured us not to worry and just be diligent in exploring commonalities as well as giving each other freedom in those areas of interest we don’t share. He said over time we will offer a healthy balance to one another and grow together. Good advise that has served us well after almost 22 years of marriage!
Throughout those years we’ve stayed very active always exploring new interests and activities along the way that we could share together. Hiking and backpacking became our main staple for our summers. We can never get enough time in the mountains and nature! One year while hiking the West Coast Trail, Anne injured her knee and we needed to retreat back to Bamfield, a small coastal town on the north end of the trail to mend her knee. We stayed at a B&B in Bamfield where the owners also have a dive operation and small kayaking outfit. We knew very little at a time about sea kayaking but we were eager to try! The company was taking a family into the Broken Island Group for a day trip and invited us along. They outfitted us in a large double kayak complete with all the necessary gear and we set off for the most amazing experience on the water! Anne and I decided to turn a one-day see kayaking excursion into 5 days self guided, which was absolutely incredible! Backpackers are traditionally minimalists being that everything they travel with they must carry on their back. We could not believe the amount of gear these boats could carry, which offered luxuries we never experienced before! We were also blown away by the visual buffet that Sea Kayaking offered where every moment of every day offered something entirely new! Looking back in knowing what we know now, we understand that our first trip lacked the skills and experience needed to do multi-day sea kayaking and navigation. Although we were blessed with incredible weather and perfect sea conditions! This trip solidified in our hearts and our minds that we found a new activity which we could enjoy together for many years to come!
After a few more trips we decided to buy our own kayaks and I began to research whatthe perfect kayak could look like for us. I wanted a kayak that was versatile enough so that we could tour with on multi-day trips as well as play in the local rivers around our hometown of Calgary Alberta. I also knew that I wanted a kayak that we could travel with to Coast Rica and many other warm destinations we enjoy going to. After scouring the Internet and talking to experts on kayaks I finally discovered TRAK Kayak ironically manufactured right in Calgary! Meeting the team at TRAK was like being welcomed into the family but most impressive was the kayak itself. I could not believe how diverse the kayak is in the water! By adjusting its three hydraulic jacks I could turn it into a efficient touring kayak to a very nimble whitewater kayak! Since we purchased our kayaks several years ago we have spent countless days exploring the endless rivers, lakes, ocean inlets and archipelagos of Western Canada as well as abroad in countries like Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, Belize, Panama and many more on the wish list!
Each time we spend together on the water draws us closer together as a couple as we tackle the challenges and reap the many rewards that the sport has to offer. Yes opposites may attract, but along the journey are new amazing discoveries that challenge us to stretch our imaginations and our perceived limitations to become much more than had we remained in our own “status-quo” of familiarity. Anne and I are much different people from when we first said those vows years ago. Little did I know how right the advice of our Pastor was at the time! Would we re-do the past 21 years? Not a chance….. We have the next 21+ years to look forward to and plenty more waters to discover together!!