Stay Rad, Dad
Last year, as I was couch ridden nursing a broken collarbone thanks to a mountain bike mishap, it has got me to thinking about radness and age. When I was in my teens there was a snowboard shop in Collingwood called “Too Rad for Mom and Dad” and I always thought it was the coolest. It’s funny how perspective changes with passing years. Are my kids too rad for me? Not yet. Will they be?
It begs the question, what’s our job as parents when it comes to recreation and staying current with our kids? Do we sit on the sidelines and do our best to give them opportunities to explore different ways of appreciating the outdoors? Do we force them into the things we like? Or, do we get on board with whatever they’re about and try new things together? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we do all three.
Naturally, they’re going to be into their own thing. They have friends and an insane amount of online influence that might inspire them to do something we’ve never heard of. If you love them, let them go. They’ll always come back, but what could be more amazing than if they came back with a new skill set? A new passion? A fresh outlook on something us old farts wrote off years ago? Our children have so much to teach us, let’s be open!
As a lifelong snowboarder and mountain biker, I feel like it’s my responsibility as a parent to share those passions with my children. What a gift we possess, having a lifetime of knowledge in outdoor activities to pass on. Watching them succeed in things that I’m deeply passionate about has been so rewarding and seeing them actually find joy in it is one of my favourite things about being a [rad] dad. It’s a tricky balance between pushing too much and having them rebel against it because of too much exposure. So, I’ve tried to keep it fun based and allowed the stoke to build on it’s own as much as possible. I also believe that if you keep on doing the things you love, in many ways that passion filters down to them organically.
Moral of the story is that you have to stay true to your passions to stay rad. Keep riding. Keep climbing. Keep taking spills. Share your passions with your full heart and never say you’re too old to get after it! Try new things. Try their things. Be rad, they’ll think you’re rad and it will breed the next generations of kids that succeed in the outdoors. So, about that old shop’s name…let it never be true, Mom and Dad!