Mud on the Tires
/ Author: Dennis Perrin
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Mud on the Tires

Life is never lived sitting still. Sometimes you need to get muddy.

By Dennis Perrin, Prairies Director

It’s springtime in southern Alberta, and that means mud and lots of it. 

Instead of staying inside where it was safe and simply observing the mud from the comfort of my father-in-law’s easy chair, I found myself being flung all over the four corners of a vast expanse of farmland—getting more and more covered by this lovely mud—on a Honda ATV chauffeured by my nine-year-old son.

Like most young boys he loves machines and mud, especially when the two are combined. That morning he convinced me to go along for the adventurous ride. The problem was that I was not prepared. I had my good clothes on, including my beloved CLAC jacket that I wear with great pride. 

As I jumped on with him, I cautioned him to go slowly to ensure that we would be safe and I would not desecrate my beloved jacket and the rest of my clothes. That didn’t last for long.

I soon realized my desire to stay clean in that environment was foolhardy, and both of us threw caution to the wind. After an hour of joy riding and getting stuck on a few occasions, we were both covered in mud from head to toe (jacket included).

I later reflected on how freeing it was to just live in that moment. Jackets can be washed and ATV’s can be unstuck. To have stayed inside and played it safe would have robbed me and my son of a fantastic afternoon together and memories that will stay with us for years. 

Life is so much like that. When I was young I found it easier to embrace adventure in all avenues of life. As I get older, caution takes over in the face of greater responsibilities and a desire to just play it safe. But one cannot truly live by staying out of the mud.

The same applies to our work. Work, like most other aspect of our lives, is not always neat and tidy. Sometimes things get messy. Conflict with co-workers, the boss, and others rarely make for enjoyable situations. Sometimes we have to take risks that don’t always make sense at the time in order to move forward and make us better. 

To truly live we cannot be afraid to make mistakes that seem messy. We need to learn from each decision and forge ahead. 

Thankfully my CLAC jacket washed up nicely and looks even better now than it did before. And the mud eventually washed out of my hair and teeth. What did remain was a much-needed bonding experience between a father and his son. Life is never lived sitting still, and sometimes you just need to get a little mud on the tires.

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