I had to learn a new word while writing this. Aptronym as defined by Merriam-Webster is: “The similarity between a person’s name and occupation….”
While looking that up, I ran across something called, nominative determinism, which is a hypothesis proposed by Carl Jung, that, according to Wikipedia, “…. suggests a casual relationship based on the idea that people tend to be attracted to areas of work that fit their name.”
This past July, my wife and I joined a group called Internations It’s an internet site that encourages local gatherings of a collection of people from all over the world. We found a category that we fit into quite well called the Minneapolis Outdoor Activities Group.
That’s not what I’m here to talk about though. Through the Internations organization, Lisa and I were part of a group that got together in late August to try our hand at kayaking on the Mississippi River. Our guide and paddling expert for the event was a gentleman named Andrew Waters of his company, Minnesota Board and Boat. Refer to the first two sentences of this post if you’ve already forgotten my new words, as I have.
Of the 8 of us that were in our group that day, none of us had more than a tiny bit of experience paddling a kayak. Andrew gave us a run-down of the basic skills we would need for the next couple hours and we pushed away from the bank of the river. As we paddled along, he continued to educate us on best practices for keeping us comfortable and safe. This was, after all, the Mississippi River. Not a scary river from a rapid water standpoint, but not a great place for a beginner to get flustered and scared. Although, I’m sure Andrew has a plan ready in that case as well.
Once we had settled into a nice, relaxing pace he told several stories relating to the history of the river, the area, and the wildlife that we encountered on the way. It was a lovely day! We were amazed by how much nature was surrounding us while the Minneapolis skyline shifted in and out of view. The mix of urban adventure and getting back to nature at the same time was truly unique.
If you are in the Twin Cities area, ever plan to be, or are looking for fun now that you’ve decided to come, look up Andrew and his crew at www.Minnesotaboardandboat.com. They simply do not disappoint. They offer a huge variety of paddling options from absolute beginner levels to advanced. Most importantly, they just love to paddle and have a passion and a skill for sharing that with all of us.
I never did ask Andrew if he was familiar with Carl Jung’s hypothesis. When you meet him, please ask him for me, if nominative determinism played a role in his love of the water. Let me know…… Thanks!