I Like Ducks

I Like DucksI like ducks – they are a lot of fun to watch and when it comes to life, ducks have some important things figured out. So not only are ducks enjoyable to watch, there are a few things that we can learn from them as well.

Ducks instinctively know how to play and enjoy life. However, it is the playing part which fascinates me mostly.

Many years ago, I was whitewater kayaking and while we were on the river we happened upon a calm spot of water to take a little bit of a break. There was a little riffle of a current, or small rapid if you will that ran along the pool of slack water that we were all sitting in.

There was also a group of ducks there and in my amazement, I sat and watched the ducks fly up the river just a little bit then they would float down the current back to the eddy and the calm water.

They were playing… Just as we were running the river in our kayaks and having fun, these ducks were doing their own brand of “river running.” And to this day – this is one of the most intriguing things that I have ever witnessed in nature.

For me it was a lesson that even though we must work our way though life, make a living and survive, there is always time and always an opportunity to play and enjoy life if we just make room to do that.

Another reason that I like ducks is that ducks make it look easy!

A few years ago while running with a friend at the track I spent the whole morning trying to keep up with him. We would start an interval or hard lap around the track and his running form captured my attention. While running, from the waist up he had minimal body movement, and I mean minimal, while at the same time the turnover rate for his feet was astounding.

When I asked him about it he told me that his running coach in college taught him to run like that… like a duck… to be calm above the water while frantically active below the water padding, or in this case running.

It is true… when you watch a duck swimming, it looks as if they are effortlessly gliding along but the reality is that under the surface they are paddling diligently to get to where they want to be.

It’s a philosophy that I have learned to apply to life as a whole… keep calm, there is no need for the world to see you flailing or for you to make a big commotion about how hard you are working or sweating to achieve something… Make it look easy! Be calm… do your work, and let your results speak for themselves…

Sure… a post about why I like ducks is a bit whimsical but it also illustrates another point and that is that life if full of interesting lessons, and often from the most unexpected of sources. Even ducks…

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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photo credit: laketitisee-24 via photopin (license)

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