What Paddle Boarding can tell us about the Hero’s Journey

Who hasn’t imagined what it would be like to be Frodo Baggins. About to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime across the wild expanses of nature? I often wonder if a lack of opportunity for adventure is what is missing from our modern world. Josephs Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ has become the backbone to many modern myths from Star Wars to Indiana Jones. A metaphor for the inner journey of transformation.

Paddle boarding, may seem like a far cry from the epic adventures of a hero’s journey. However, upon closer examination, there are striking parallels between the two. Both involve a journey, challenges, and a transformation that ultimately leads to growth and self-discovery. Back in my early days of paddle boarding, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the two. So indulge me for a moment and let me share my insights with you.

Paddle Boarding and the Hero’s Journey Part 1: The Call to Adventure

Every hero’s journey begins with a call to adventure. A beckoning to leave behind the mundane and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Similarly, a paddle boarding session starts with the call of the ocean or a serene lake. An invite to leave the shore and venture into the unknown. As you stand on the shore, gazing at the expanse of water, you feel a sense of excitement and apprehension. This is just like a hero answering the call to adventure.

Paddle Boarding and the Hero’s Journey Part 2: The Journey

Just like a hero setting off on a journey, a paddle boarding session also has its fair share of challenges and obstacles. The first and most crucial step in paddle boarding is to find your balance. As you step onto the board and start paddling, you realize that it’s not as easy as it looks. You wobble, lose balance, and may even fall off a few times. But with determination and perseverance, you keep getting back up, just like a hero facing challenges and overcoming them.

Paddle Boarding and the Hero’s Journey Part 3: The Abyss

In both paddle boarding and the hero’s journey, first there comes a moment of crisis. This is followed by the abyss, where all hope seems lost. In paddle boarding, this might be when you encounter strong waves. You many encounter a sudden gust of strong wind, knocking your off course. Aa rocky patch of water challenging your balance and paddling skills. Maybe it starts raining, a boat passes leaving waves to contend with. You question yourself, ‘do I have the skills for this?’. Maybe you find yourself thinking ‘What was that shadow in the water!’. In the hero’s journey, it could be a battle with a dark moment of self-doubt. In these moments, it’s easy to give up and retreat, but that’s when true growth happens. Just as a hero rises from the abyss, a paddle boarder conquers the rough waters, emerging stronger and more resilient.

Paddle Boarding and the Hero’s Journey Part 4: The Transformation

As you navigate through the challenges and emerge on the other side, you experience a transformation. In paddle boarding, this could be a newfound sense of balance, strength, and confidence. Similarly, a hero’s journey leads to a transformation, where they gain new skills, insights, and a deeper understanding of themselves. Both paddle boarding and the hero’s journey require you to step out of your comfort zone. You’re called to challenge limiting beliefs about yourself, resulting in personal growth and transformation. All while taking reasonable safety precautions of course.

Paddle Boarding and the Hero’s Journey Part: The Return Home

After a successful paddle boarding session or a hero’s journey, there is a sense of accomplishment. We have a desire to return home and share your experiences with others. Paddle boarding allows you to connect with nature, and the hero’s journey connects you with your inner self. Both leave you with a sense of fulfillment and a desire to inspire others to embark on their own journeys.

The parallels between a paddle boarding session and a hero’s journey are undeniable. Both involve 5 key elements. A call to adventure, a journey filled with challenges, a moment of crisis, a transformation, and a return home with a newfound sense of self. You can use this the next time you’re out on the water. Remember that you’re not just paddle boarding, you’re embarking on your own heroic and inner journey.

What challenges do you face when you venture out on your paddle board? Do you ever feel a parallel with your paddling adventures and the five themes of a Hero’s Journey?

Just want to have fun on your paddle board without the inner work? Check out this post here

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