Let the Adventure Begin!

I dreamed of starting my own business but didn’t know where or how to start. The dream persisted for years, but fear of failure held me back and prevented me from taking the first step. After spending 6 years as a raft guide, trip leader and trainer on the Ocoee River, I felt the pressure of society to grow up, get a real job and put my hard-earned and expensive college degree to use. I did just that when I became a social worker with the State of Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services. I spent 9 years serving the public in a stressfull and thankless job that resulted in a lung cancer diagnosis. During those years and especially after lung surgery, I drifted back to nature for solace and healing. Literally learning how to breathe again. I found adventure on the river, on the trails, in a hammock between two trees, facing fears on rock walls and leading groups of children on mountain bike and canoe tours. I believe that adventure is everywhere and comes in all forms. Adventure happens when you do something that frightens and challenges you. Adventure begins with a single step in the direction that will change your life. My first step was purchasing two paddleboards. I didn’t have a clue how to start a business. So I did research. My wife helped. Friends and family encouraged me. I didn’t have the capital to buy any more equipment. I dreamed of $7,000. That was the amount needed to buy a fleet of paddleboards, paddles and lifejackets. One day, on my way to work, I was rear-ended while sitting at a stop light, and a few days later, the insurance company paid out that a little over that magical amount for the repairs. Instead of fixing my truck, I took that money and bought my fleet of paddleboards. That’s how Sunshine’s Adventures came to be.

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