Are You Drawn or Driven?


I have been kayaking for 10 years now.  In those 10 years I have spent a lot of time on the water. Eight out of those 10 years I have spent over 200 plus days each year on the river.  To say the least, kayaking has changed my life forever.

Life is not all about kayaking and rafting though.  At the end of the day, I want to spend time with my friends, family and dogs and not talk about kayaking.  I really do love it, trust me, but you have to make room for what’s really import ant in life.  I have had some life changing experiences in the past three years and have had plenty of time to think about these things, on and off the river.

A couple of years ago a mentor of mine, who has never stepped foot in a kayak said to me: “Hey Jason, are you drawn or driven to the river?”  I said to myself  “that’s an easy answer,” but then, I realized that I really struggled with the question.  I was dumbfounded with silence.  The next day, I really thought about the question, as I was floating to the takeout.

I decided I was driven. Why? Well, I’m a pretty motivated person and I am never content just where I’m at in life. I always think you can practice harder, sharpen your skills, and get better at the 100 other things that life is composed of.  But then, I decided that the things I’m drawn to drive me as well.   The sounds, movement of the current, friendships, silence, exercise, etc.  I guess I’m still searching for the answer to that question today.

I think anyone, no matter what their profession, could ask themsleves that same question.  Maybe it will make you think hard about what you really care about in life, and why we do the things we do.  Why do we love Missoula so much?  Are we drawn or driven to survive and live in Missoula?  That is the question.


Jason Shreder, owner of local whitewater company Zoo Town Surfers. I love Missoula, the great community, and all the awesome water that surrounds it.  I’m constantly moving and 90% of that movement involves kayaking, rafting, working, and hanging out with my awesomely supportive girlfriend and dogs.