Meet Jack. He’s a quiet, private fellow – no airs about him, just a youthful determination. Last year, rather than slow down after turning 69, he said, “to heck with it, I want to paddleboard.”
So, with a family reunion on the Cape coming up, he decided to give it a try and came to us for guidance. With his wife and niece along for the ride, he signed up for an L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools private lesson.
Some people might think this sport is only for folks in their teens, twenties and thirties. Well, it’s not – and Jack is proof. Sure, he fell a few times at first – well, maybe “a few” is a bit of an understatement. But water is soft and refreshing, and Jack’s unflinching determination could not be stopped. Scott, one of our expert paddling instructors, dug deep into his bag of teaching tools and tricks, helping Jack get to his feet and paddle around the bay, the cheers of his wife and niece resounding over the water. Jack came back to L.L.Bean for a second private lesson, refining his skills further. And then, like many customers, he headed out to enjoy adventures of his own.
“Where are they now?”
Often, customers don’t realize the lasting effect they have on our instructors. Scott wondered if Jack surprised his kids and grandkids at the family reunion. He wondered if he was still excited about the sport – still full of that youthful passion driving him to experience life to the fullest. He continued to wonder about Jack until this year, when he looked across East End Beach in Portland, Maine, and saw Jack heading toward him with a big, boyish grin and his new birthday present – a BIC ACE-TEC 10’6″ paddleboard. After catching up on all Jack’s adventures, Scott inquired, “Where’d you get the board?”
“Bean’s of course,” Jack replied. “That’s where I learned.” Scott stood back and watched Jack paddle out to sea, cheered on by an inspired crowd of beachgoers and one proud instructor.
Making a difference in someone’s life
70 years young and still paddling – an example we all can learn from. Here at L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools we live what we love every day, and so can you – whatever your age.
Are you as young-at-heart as Jack? Tell us about it in the comments, or share your story with us.