An Ordinary Disaster
Brothers and Teachers
E09 / The Adventure of Young Fatherhood with Noah Rainey

E09 / The Adventure of Young Fatherhood with Noah Rainey

A commitment to joy and fun, the power of invitation, embodied virtues, exploring the territory of fear, unexpected fatherhood, rites of passage, the opportunity to struggle, conscious relationships.

This conversation is part of a series of interviews with various brothers and teachers, including many fellow writers, all of which are part of the body of work surrounding my book-length memoir An Ordinary Disaster—one man's proof that we can all learn to listen to ourselves, and to act upon the inner voice of our self, our sanity and our soul.

Today I’m talking with my friend Noah Rainey. He and I met through our mutual love for kitesurfing, and also as fellow event organizers, lovers of adventure and through a shared connection with Summit Series and The Battery here in San Francisco.

Noah is co-founder of Adventure Architects, which produces adventure events for companies, teams, conferences, and community groups, and he lives on Salt Spring Island between Victoria and Vancouver BC with his partner and their two young sons.

Noah is a unique individual, someone that I’ve learned a lot from, a man that I love and respect and that I continue to want to get to know more deeply, all of which is why I’ve invited him to be with us here today.

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Show Notes

What is adventure? “Stepping out into the unknown.” Adventure means different things to different people. The paradox of creating adventure. “Moving intentionally into the unknown.” Leading at the pace of the slowest person in the group, and yet also with the intention of taking people to the edge of comfort.

Postitive role models. Brad Morris Majik Kids and his “commitment to joy and fun.”Salt Spring Island → Toko-Pa Turner. The power of invitation.

Not just how we are but what qualities do we embody? Embodiment is what you express through your body, and what you transmit to others. Values vs. virtues on the A16Z podcast. Esther Perel said ‘A lot of us get turned on at night by the things that we would protest during the day.’ What you believe isn't necessarily what you do in practice, and your virtues are what you do actually practice—what you embody.

Men’s groups… are trending—and most are based primary around talking. Here’s an idea: a men’s group built around adventure and play! And also other types of adventure, like creative expression. Adventure is intentionally moving into the unknown, and moving towards and exploring the territory of fear, which is how we grow.

Unexpected fatherhood at young age. Any parent is going to “get schooled on surrender.” “It’s about the babies now.” Time is different when you’re a parent—there’s certainly no more time for showing the abs on Insta! It’s been a tough initiation. Support from other men, groups and coaches like Trevor Spring. Going through the fire.

Rites of passage for boys. Sacred Sons → Sonz Youth. Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend. Headwaters Outdoor School. At 25 he was enjoying the life of a young man, but still identified in some ways as a boy. Having a child of his own made it necessary for him to carry the responsibility of a “man,” which did lead him to identify more as a man.

He didn’t have the opportunity to struggle with the question of whether to become a father—it just happened—but he was in a puer state, a boy-man suddenly with a son. It was a forcible initiation.

Conscious relationships with alcohol & cannabis. He doesn’t miss alcohol, and has been thinking about reducing his use of cannabis. Wanting to make space for other things.

Adventure sports. His new side project is the Wingfoil Travel group. Dedicating oneself to a single deep, serious, “fanatical” hobby. Stripping away distractions and closing chapters consciously.

You can find Noah Rainey at Adventure Architects. Here is the Wingfoil Travel group that he hosts on Facebook.

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Love reading?

You might enjoy some of my other writing on the subjects of fatherhood, adventure, sports and kitesurfing, in particular my piece called The Man Pays about own experience not becoming a father and The Last Time about kitesurfing, kite foiling, wingfoiling, paragliding and consciously closing chapters. You should also check out E08 of the podcast for another story about unexpected fatherhood, as well as E07 for an interview with a someone who, like myself, did not become a father.

Please stick around — I’ve got some questions for you…

  1. Are you a parent? How did you decide to become (or end up as) a parent, or not? Is what happened anything like what you wanted, planned, or expected? How have your feelings changed?

  2. What values do you hold close — and what virtues do you embody?

  3. What is your relationship with adventure and adventure sports?

  4. What’s your relationship with alcohol and/or cannabis—and how conscious is that relationship?

And finally, please don’t forget to let me know that you enjoyed this piece by mashing that cute little red heart ❤️down below ↓

An Ordinary Disaster
Brothers and Teachers
This show is a series of conversations with and about people who embody positive presence, talking about identity, addiction, depression, adventure, intuition, love, relationships, gender, sexuality—and becoming ourselves as much as possible. It's also an effort to honor people who who have been teachers, who I love and respect, and who I want to get to know more deeply. In short, a way to highlight people doing and being good in the world.