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Understanding the life of a kayaker

Professional KayakersA professional kayaker can take many routes to success, from performing death-defying stunts to competing at tournaments. And because people are so fascinated with their oddball lives, they are able to ride their wave of fame even when they are off the water.

To those outside of the industry, a kayaker’s life seems packed with adventures but you will be surprised at the amount of time kayakers spend doing mundane things such as reading up on kayaking guides, all in preparation for that great leap.

On the waters

Kayakers spend much of their lives on water of course. The key to any sport is practice and many kayakers spend entire days learning new kayaking tricks such as maneuvering techniques and landing safely, in particular for freestyle kayakers.

Off the water

Kayakers spend a lot of time training off the waters as well, doing normal workouts like cardio and upper body training. They also have to keep to strict diets like any other athlete.

The kayaker has to keep abreast of the latest development in his industry, such as the latest models of kayaks and paddles released, the latest records broken, the profile of fellow competitors, as well as the terrain they are kayaking in.

Kayakers also need to go through the paper work applying for permits to kayak in certain locations although many professional kayakers tend to have a team to help them with administrative work.

Competing

A big part of a new professional kayaker’s life is competing. This is one of the only ways at the beginning of a career as a kayaker to earn some cash money and rise in prominence within the competition circuit. Kayakers have to travel across the countries and even overseas to participate in various competitions.

Expedition kayaking

Competitions take up only a small fraction of a kayaker’s life. Kayakers also test their limits and raise their public profiles by planning their own kayak routes. Many embark on expedition kayaking and attempt to paddle in rivers no one has paddled before and try to break records as part of stunts that can garner significant media attention.

Travelling lifestyle

It is no wonder that kayakers tend to lead nomadic lives, especially since the places they venture to are quite isolated areas. Haley Mills, a professional kayaker who was ranked 5th in the world in freestyle kayaking says that her truck is where her home is. Haley and her team basically live on the road and spend significant times away from family. Her truck contains a single bed, her kayaks and other equipment, and also her closet in the backseat.

Kayakers traverse the world in search of the fastest and tallest rapids, all while tightly gripping on to their paddles.

Blogging, marketing, advertising

With such a vibrant and extraordinary life, many professional kayakers pick up writing and communication skills to monetize their experiences, either through writing blogs, publishing books or creating vlogs about their adventures. Tao Berman, perhaps the most well known professional kayaker on the planet, models in commercials and also does public speaking. He is sponsored by the likes of Red Bull, Timberland and Oakley.

Unpredictability

There are not many successful kayakers out there for present kayakers to emulate. It is a path less trodden. Competitions are dispersed throughout the year and their locations change every year so they will never know where they will end up the next year.

Outside of competitions, public stunts are self-initiated acts that do not guarantee fixed incomes. Kayakers can only hope that the media attention brings them sponsors.

A greater concern will be the looming possibility of mishaps and injuries that may stall a kayaker’s plans or worse, cancel them indefinitely.

The number of trajectories a kayaker can take is countless and not surprisingly, the life of a kayaker is highly unpredictable.

Professional kayakers are definitely on the ride of their lives but they take huge risks everyday and never really get to stay with their families. However, the enriching and entirely refreshing lives they lead may be well worth it for most of them.

Understanding the life of a pool player

Being a professional pool player and a recreational pool player are two entirely different things. A professional pool player experiences competition, stress and an unstable income from playing pool. Recreational pool players face-off with their best friends, de-stress and only play after they have ended work at their 9-to-5 jobs.

Playing pool for a living may look glamorous. But like many other glamorous looking jobs, it is still a job.

Training hours

One thing is for sure. Serious professional pool players do not hold a second job. They spend hours and hours on end to reach the standard required to begin turning in profits. This will not be possible with a full-time job.

Much time is also spent away from the pool table strategizing and visualizing playtime on top of studying competition stats and profiles of competitors.

However, pool players have more control over their time and reduced working hours compared to the average working professional. Moreover, although practices can be tough, being able to push the limits of one’s skill and also explore the sport they love can be quite enjoyable.

Tournament life

Pool players participate in as many competitions possible to rise rapidly in rankings. It is also one of the only ways new professionals can earn money. Prize money ranges depending on the prestige of the competition, the number of players and number of sponsors. Average professional pool players earn about $30,000-$50,000 per annum which is comparable to mid-level jobs.

Pool players often leave their homes for long periods of time to take part in various tournaments throughout the country. Life on the road can be fun for some but like any job that requires travelling, pool players often have to leave their families behind just to participate in tournaments.

Income security

The income of average pool players tends to be unsteady. Tournament prize money provides little security, as it is very difficult to maintain high rankings consistently.

Taking part in tournaments require high entry fees running into the hundreds and even thousands. But to really rise in professional rankings and increase the chances of getting sponsored, pool players have no choice but to consistently perform in many tournaments. For this reason, pool players often rake up hefty expenditure on just the tournament entrance fees.

Moreover, players will incur large amounts of transportation fees and hotel costs for participating in tournaments. All these may cause the player to lose money instead, especially if they do not place in the top 10. As you can imagine, being a pool player can be quite unpredictable and stressful.

Dealing with nasty players in competitions

Most people play pool to mingle with friends and have a great time. On the other hand, professional pool players have to play with fierce competitors who are almost always strangers. The atmosphere in competitions tends to be tense and stressful and not all competitors are graceful at losing. Pool players need to get used to not only managing their own frustration but also bearing the brunt of other competitors’ insults and rage.

Going pro in pool is definitely not easy today especially since tournament winnings are far and few between and there is a declining public interest in the sport. However, the beauty of the game has convinced many players to leave the safety nets of their 9-to-5 jobs for the unpredictable ride that is a career in pool.

Understanding the life of an interior designer

Interior designing seems like a glamorous job thanks to the work of numerous network TV shows that often portray the typical interior designer as the in-control consultant casually picking out the best finishing or fabric to go with the wall. In essence, they only show the fun and creative aspects of the job. There are many aspects to the job that are not at all glamorous such as designing bathroom. In fact, the job is often mundane and stressful as well.

Read about beautiful bathroom waterfall faucet decor to find out more!

The extent of creative control and job stability also depends on the type of interior designing one is engaged in, the main types being residential designers, commercial designers and self-employed designers who run their own interior design business

This is where it gets technical…

True. A bulk of what interior designers do revolves around conceptualizing designs, detecting flaws to the tiniest of details and bringing their vision into fruition.

However, being able to conceptualize a design and implement it is not sufficient in today’s fast-changing design industry. Interior designers are required to be adept at using technologies as part of their daily work. PhotoShop, AutoCad and many other programs are changing the way interior designers do and present their work to clients. Interior designers are often attending design conferences, reading journals and keeping tabs on each other’s creations so that designs always remain at the cutting-edge of the field.

There are many technical aspects of the job that interior designers need to deal with on a daily basis. They still need to use the computer to do data analysis and carry out research, file their bills, answer emails and calls, track profits and losses, do pro bono work, know building laws and regulations and deal with measurements and basic physics. All these technical aspects are what people don’t see when they watch interior designers at work on TV.

Dealing with clients

Interior designing is fundamentally a service job so interior designers deal first-hand with clients very frequently. Consultations and follow-ups with clients are part of their everyday schedules. Designers spend time understanding the real needs of their clients and strive to meet those needs, even if it means compromising on their own creative ideas.

They also handle difficult clients every other week. Most clients approach interior designers because they trust the professionals. With these clients, the designer gets his own space to exercise his professional judgment. However, not all clients are like this. Some clients are very picky and may not listen to what the designer has to say. Some don’t give clear instructions before designers start the job and then later blame them for not designing according to their likings.

But what really makes an interior designer’s day is the fulfillment gained from going beyond their client’s expectations.

Business mentality

Interior designers are often found presenting their designs to clients. They need to consider costs and how they can best utilize limited resources to design the best space. Interior designers are not just designers. They are also businessmen and salespeople. Interior designers have to be accustomed to pitching ideas, persuading clients and building a consistent brand name.

The life of the interior designer is not constant throughout and evolves all the time. At the beginning of the journey as an interior designer, designers do not get many opportunities to assert their creative decisions. However, this gradually changes over the years as the interior designer gets more experience.

Understanding the life of a hunter

Professional HuntersThe hunter is a rare breed. Professional hunters are even fewer in numbers.

These few hunters do not get a good rep these days, with the rise in animal rights and anti-gun activism. And so the life of a professional hunter is shrouded in even more mystery.

While you may have heard some hunting stories from your grandparents and you may have joined them on occasions, hunting for a living is an entirely different matter.

Training and learning

Hunters spend a lot of time training and preparing before they actually embark on their hunting trips. They will need to load up on the required equipment, research on the terrain and learn about the optimum conditions to hunt for preferred catch. Hunters will also need to refine their shooting or archery skills in indoor or outdoor facilities to improve their marksmanship and shoot better on the field.

Hunters also keep abreast of developments in the industry by reading hunting magazines, articles and books, and pursuing further education through the conservation department’s field office to expand their knowledge about the activity.

Doing paper work

Becoming a licensed hunter and make a living out of it requires deep understanding of state and federal processes and laws. Hunters need to keep up to date with their knowledge of hunting regulations and firearms laws in their own state as well as others. This requires a lot of reading and research, activities people do not associate with being a hunter. However, the consequences of failing to understand the law are dire. Not only could your license be revoked, you be punished under the law.

Selling catch

Hunters earn their income through a variety of methods. The most direct way they earn their income is through selling quality hunts. It is not allowed for hunters to sell meat from game but they can sell animal hides. This involves business acumen and analysis of market demands and competition on the part of the hunter.

Hunters also hunt for catches that the government or universities are targeting. These may be for programs aiming to reduce pest or to catch and tranquilize specific catches that are required for research.

Guiding

Many hunters turn to guiding to add on to their income. Outfitters and hunters are willing to tip guides generously when they are able to hunt down their catch successfully.

Hunters purchase and lease out hunting land to other hunters who are willing to pay exorbitant fees to gain access to private hunting areas. Guides spend time maintaining their lands and some also research into guiding opportunities overseas such as Africa’s guided safaris.

Marketing

Hunters are part-time businessmen and marketers as well. Many hunters blog about their hunting experiences and offer advice to aspiring or beginner hunters and then go on to monetize their blogs. Some also create vlogs about their hunting trips to market their skills or sell them as informational DVDs.

Travelling

Hunting is an activity for the adventurous traveller. Many hunters are not content with just hunting within their own states. By travelling out of one’s own comfort zone and hunting for new species in new environments, hunters get to immerse in the natural surroundings of new countries and hunt for new catches.

Hunting is not an easy profession. Most hunters do not earn enough to make hunting a full-time job. However, it is a great way to supplement one’s income for people who love the outdoors.

Understanding the life of a foodie

foodie

Foodie

People often misunderstand us for being gluttons or just downright picky people. However, the only ‘sin’ we have committed is to have a higher than average expectation for what touches our sacred tongues. So don’t mind us as we continue appreciating what Earth’s produce has offered us especially when it comes to barbecue food!

Dealing with misunderstandings

People think we just like to eat. What they don’t realize is that ‘liking to eat’ does not mean appreciating and loving food. We treat food as art and understand what really goes on behind the food. We appreciate the cultural context of the food we eat and also what goes on in creating the food. We always looking for the best flavored meat that is being served. The techniques the chef used, whether it was executed properly, how it compares to similar dishes we have tasted, did the chef use a cheap shot, etc.  are all on our minds with every bite.

Hole in wallets

As foodies, we don’t discriminate food by any criteria besides the quality of food. So we tend to overlook the exorbitant price tags of certain haute cuisine all in the name of trying everything out there even if it is a 5 star restaurant with 4 figures average bill. Not surprisingly, our wallets take a hit. This sounds like bad news but many foodies don’t spend much on anything else besides food. Rather than spending our money on the newest clothes or at the movies, we channel it into food. Because it’s worth it.

Time spent on food

Money is not the only thing on the chopping board. So is our time. We are willing to stand in line for the best burger in town even if it will take us hours to reach the front. We are wiling to take a road trip to the other end of the country just to taste the nation’s best steak. When we go on vacations, it becomes more of a dash to try every awesome restaurant or stall in the country rather than a relaxing time off.

Risk getting poisoned on vacations

Food is sometimes more important than our health. As foodies, we try everything because the best tastes come from the most unexpected places. Travelling is more than seeing new places, it is also about trying new food, more particularly, street food. This is not to say that street food vendors don’t have hygiene standards. But those are not always our standards. Our stomachs were not made for such powerful germs so we risk getting the runs more easily. But the risk of not tasting possibly the best rojak or the best duck ever in this entire world is too big to take. So heck our fallible human bodies. We will go down for food.

Obsessed about trying everything

Nothing is a bigger no-no than repeating meals despite having other choices to choose from. Even at McDonalds, foodies strive to try out everything on the menu. No repeats. If you put us in markets, food truck rallies or hawker centres in Southeast Asia, we will have the penchant to try a bit of everything.

Food is more than an energy source for us to keep us functioning. It is what makes the world a better place. Like art, literature or music is to most people, food makes our lives meaningful. Taking a bite is like taking a break from this world.