Dec 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Tav's first Christmas and its in England:) Click picture to see album of pictures:)

Christmas 2016

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 6, 2016

Searching For Sero: When life does its thing and brings beautiful people into your world

Thanks for the lovely article... Check it out and all the other amazing stories...

These two are some pretty rad folk Searching For Sero doing some amazing things. Really glad our paths have crossed a couple of weeks ago. They have taken on a huge mission and have chosen to take the harder path to help spread a message they both feel so strongly about. The outdoors is very important in my life and has given me so much in life (physically, emotionally, and spiritually,...job, husband, happiness, adventure, beauty, the list goes on). Lets make sure we take care of our nature, and most importantly go out and enjoy it... 

Picture by John Rathwell SearchingforSero

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Nov 23, 2016

Keepin' the dream ALIVE in Fiji: 2016 ISA SUP and Paddleboard World Champs

 Photos by Ryan Knysh:) 

I am sitting in the Vancouver airport waiting for my last flight home to Vernon and it already all feels like a distant dream. Travel days are always funny as I find myself in the in between world where I cannot wait to get home and see my family but also kind of dread all the "real life" things that come with arriving home.  My mind is stuck in a sort of  semi dreamland where my brain is jammed pack with memories of all the amazingness that just occurred. My Fiji experience was filled with a mix bag of emotions that came to be through leaving a 10 month old at home, not winning gold, winning gold, getting scared, seeing beauty, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends,...ah man the list can just go on....

I got to spend a whole lot of time with the race portion of team Canada and this rad crew along with Captain Adrian made my trip a truly memorable one. In life, I am learning, it really is all about the people you meet and the connections you make with them. I feel so lucky to have been able to travel the world and meet so many unbelievable people and share memorable moments with them.

Fiji does not have to do much to create the sensation of living in a picture perfect postcard dream.  If you are a water person then this is the place for you. If you like intense heat and sunshine this is also the place for you.... If you have a pocket full of cash (which I don't have...) this is also the place for you. hahaha....but seriously it is a pretty amazing little piece of paradise.

The Canadian team consisting of
Catherine Bruhwiler, Jeff and Finn Spencer, Alison Wood, Rob Kavcic, Ryan Knysh, Jason Bennett, MIke Darbyshire and myself were truly amazing people in every way. They created an unforgetable trip and made us all proud to be Canadian:) THANK YOU team for being your awesome selves:)

ISA Worlds
The technical race was windy and tough but I knew I could do it. It was a long day in the sun and on a crowded boat but it was all part of the experience of being there competing.  As an athlete it was important to manage all the inconveniences to the best of my ability. 16 athletes made it through to the final. In the final, I didn't have my best start but also not my worst so I just went with it and gave it my best. I could quickly see that spots 1 and 2 were out of my reach and likely 3rd as well but I wasn't giving up on it. I was battling it out with Karla from Aus for fourth. I would catch her on the upwind and she would distance herself from me on the downwind portions of the course. I could never get enough ahead so it would be a large battle for me on my weaker downwind leg into the finish... I lost, and came in 5th just out of podium and a little heart broken. Its always a tough one being the one who just misses the podium. I was starting to realize that my current life of mommy, work, lack of serious training was showing in my performance. Although I felt good I still have a ways to go to be where I once was.

The distance race was to be my specialty. Well in the past that is. I executed the perfect start and first 10 minutes. I couldn't believe it really....haha I was exactly where I wanted to be out front... and then I just started to fade and fade and fade and just kept on fading... it was unreal, such a thing has never happened to me and I can't really explain it. I just could not go any faster... Incredible.. it was hot and flat (which in the past was perfect lina conditions....) but now not so much.. haha... I crossed the line and just felt empty and slightly embarrassed. I couldn't believe that my body could have changed so drastically after having a child etc... and I was clearly undertrained and not recovered:) I took it pretty hard,.... in a fun kind of way;)

We had a tough heat for the Team relays on Sunday so we all just paddled our best and enjoyed the ride.
The last race of the event was a new event. The 200m sprint. It was not worth team points but still considered an event. I wanted this win so badly but I have to admit my confidence was low going in. it was the people surrounding me that got me pumped up and motivated: it was their belief in my abilities and mind. I was focused and nervous but also just took it with stride. I got through my heat and in the final just gave it my all. I could feel the ladies close to me but I stayed focused on the finish line and keeping my speed. 200m is a funny distance as you just start to hit your max right before the finish so it gets quite painful in the last seconds and you  have to keep pushing and not make a mistake. Well,  I managed to capture that GOLD medal. It may not have been the most important race but it was important to me and I can now be at home with pride, motivation, and inspiration. Thank you team for the support.

I hope I can one day repay all of you that supported me.... THANK you from the bottom of my heart...

Thanks to the team sponsors: Vaikobi for the rad outfits and those that supported us and helped kit us out:)

THANKS first off to Andrew, Trish and Tav.... for making it easier for me to get away. THANK You to all my friends and family near and far for all the support. Lastly I could not have done it without Tourism Vernon, SIC Maui, Nikki Rekman Sales, Sun N SUP, Onit Pro, Dylan Walters, Yvonne and Kenta, Kalavida Surf Shop, Werner Paddles, Kavu, Ryders Eyewear, UB Super, ClifBar, Crossfit Vernon, SD name a few:)

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Nov 6, 2016

Fiji Bound: Heading to World Championships to represent Canada for SUP on Thursday:)

Its kind of mind boggling to think of what my life was like at 2015 Worlds in Mexico. How can life feel and be so different in such a short amount of time!?!?!

At the time of 2015 World SUP Champs in Mexico
I was living in Vancouver BC: now I live in Vernon/Coldstream BC a 5 hour drive east to the land of sun, orchards, lakes, and even more of an outdoor paradise...

I was contract outdoor ed teaching/living the life of a PRO SUP athlete: Now a PE teacher in the public school systems and slightly less feel of the PRO athlete life but there is still some lingering aspects that I hope stick around for a while yet:)

I at the time did not know I had a baby growing inside of me so with all do respects I was childless: now have a 10 month old baby boy named Tavas.  He just rocks my world in all the right ways:)

My hubby and I owned an apartment: we now own a house and Andrew did an amazing job on the new kitchen we renovated.

I knew a whole crew of amazing folks and now know an even larger crew of amazing folks:)

I digress...

Its been a roller coaster of a ride in all the right ways.... Following your dreams and passions and excelling at them is never easy: The training, the logistics, the team building, the life balance. I have had good weeks and tougher weeks.... Juggling the job, motherhood, being a wife, training, adventuring, friendship building etc its been a blast but definitely has had some challenging moments. I love it is one fullfilling adventure and I would not have it any other way;)

Am I ready for Fiji? I have no clue.
Did I train enough? I have no idea.

What I do know is that I got out on the water when I could, I got to the gym when I could and I embraced as much creativity to make me feel as prepared as I could considering my circumstances. I bike to work, I run with Tav for one of his nap times, I work out in the basement, etc.

I am excited to represent Canada for my 3rd ISA. This is one of my favourite races of the year as there is so much country pride and it is about so much more than just yourself.... I am always so proud to represent Canada. I would love to hear the anthem once again...

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all of those that have helped me get to these world champs. I have had support from close and far and do not even know where to begin in the repayment of heart felt gratitude.

I am beyond stoked to finally have a full Canadian team at the ISA champs:) This is our first year of full representation among all disciplines. We have a rad crew with great talent and I can't wait to see what each athlete can do... but no matter what I am beyond proud of each of them and feel so lucky that I can captain such an amazing crew:) GO CANUCKS:)))))))))))))

What am I racing? I am racing an 18km distance race. Map below. It looks epic and stunning. Pretty stoked... it also sounds like there will be a whole bunch of different conditions, surf, open ocean, flat, chop, downwind.... interesting to see what it will shape up to be like... This is d=typically my stronger discipline but I think it will depend on the conditions and how my mind and body react. I have not had very much ocean time since moving to Vernon (lake country) and having a baby....

and a course race..... looks kind of epic... It was originally planned in a more subdued part of the ocean which was more of my thing but hey I will go out and enjoy the ride as much as possible:) Hopefully my surf legs come back to me pretty quick;) I do naturally have great starts and it seems like a fairly short course so it will be interesting to see how my mind and body react to the course presented below:)

So I am off on Thursday leaving my husband, Tav, and students at VSS in Vernon. (Lucky for Tav and Andrew, Andrew's mom is flying in from the UK to help out:)) I am off to travel to a warm paradise to continue to follow my passions, inspire, compete, live the dream:)))))

Thank you to family, SIC, Tourism Vernon, Werner Paddles, Nikki Rekman Sales, Sun n SUP, OnIt PRO, Kavu, SUPSkin, UB Super, ClifBar, Ryders Eyewear, Kalavida Surf Shop, and friends near and far.... I hope I can do you all proud, I hope I can do Canada proud:)

You will be able to follow the event on the ISA website at

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Aug 29, 2016

August Life: Tav is 7 months, Vernon time, Hood River International SUP racing

Tav chillin at Sovereign Park at Kal Lake

After a whole bunch of travelling and racing most of August was spent at our home in Vernon. Andrew has been busy working on our little kitchen addition.. and the progress has been spectacular. I really love our home in Vernon, actually I can't believe its been just over a year that we moved here... feels like we have lived here forever.... it's a sweet little gem of a place. Having grown up in Canada (Ontario) I really do love this big empty country and although there are many wonderful places in the world, I love it here, I love the seasons, the mountains, the vastness, the people,... the everything... phew.

August, was mostly about teaching SUP, house renos, and mini local explorations. I would have loved to do more of the last (explorations) but work and housework sort of took over... Its a tough balance working, mom duties, "training" being a semi pro athlete, wife, and meeting new friends and seeing old friends... phew... I don't know how you "super" moms out there do it all:)...

Junior SUP club at Kalamalka Beach 

Kitchen renos and Tav

We also had a ton of visitors cruising through in August. I didn't manage to take many pictures:( Too name a few we had Tracy and fam, Barb and Kevin, Tom and Chuck, Chris, Meg, and Rosa, and a whole gang from Vancouver this past weekend. We got to bike, hike, run, SUP, swim, and have some good general hanging out on our new deck:) Oh and always plenty of good eats, drinks, and laughs...

We hiked up to Spectrum Lake in the Monashee Provinicla Park. What a beautiful place and this was just the edge of the Monashees. Great spot for family overnight hiking trips.
Spectrum lake hike
Spectrum Lake
spectrum Lake

I taught a clinic in Naramata with Sun N Sup. We love this low key beautiful community. Sun N SUP is a killer little shop that everyone needs to check out when in Naramata.

Tav chillin in Naramata

I raced in Hood River and Andrew got a few sweet mtn bike rides there. We enjoyed spending time with the SIC Ohana, the Werner team and the international SUP gang:)
Racing the course race photo Gorge Performance

Team SIC photo by Jeremy Riggs

I got to enjoy the Silverstar mtn bike park with friends

Lots of water time... Tav seems to enjoy swimming in the lake which is exciting stuff

Tav is babbling, growing teeth, standing with support, loves the jolly jumper, enjoys all kinds of foods and is generally a happy go lucky kind of baby...

Tav adventures

Thank you August for all the adventures
The fam in Hood river photo distressed mullet

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Aug 26, 2016

Champion of the Crescent: A family trip to the city (overdue blog post)

start sandwhich betwen Danny and Jarko

You know your life has changed when your trip to the city includes stops at IKEA and other house and baby needs:) When you meet your friends at the park at 430pm to have dinner and all leave by 730pm to make sure kids are in bed and you have time to rest:) Or you go to the shore to hike as a family instead of a 5 hour mountain bike epic:)

I am NOT complaining. Infact I kind of love it.... I have been able to do so much of the crazy outdoor adventure stuff throughout my life that I welcome the change. I LOVE being a mom and I LOVE our little family. and I LOVE going on hikes all together, or canoeing, or to IKEA... hahha..

We were in Vancouver so I could race in the Champion of the Crescent SUP race out at Crescent Beach in Surrey. I was still recovering from the Yukon, the travels, Tofino races, clinics, traveling but really wanted to be at this event, and I am sure glad I made it out.

It was like a SUP Pacific NorthWest reunion of sorts. There were a ton of the top PNW paddlers out and it was great to see everyone again. I wish we arrived sooner and could stay longer so I could have reconnected with everybody...

The race was set up as a fundraiser for youth suffering with mental health. They pulled off a great event and were able to incorporate a 10km race, 5 km race, kids race, and corporate team relays.

I was super nervous for this event.... I just was totally drained from travels, racing, being a new mom, working, etc... so was not sure what my body and or mind could do for this race. It was short as comparison to something like the Yukon which almost makes it harder as one has to push that much harder still for a good amount of time.

I had nothing to prove but still wanted to win:) haha the competitive side of me is NOT gone after being a mother its just that no matter what happens I have Andrew and Tav to come home to which is always the best prize there can be:)

I managed to have a good race and won the event with a solid lead which felt good both physically and mentally. I was on the SIC 12'6 X Prolite with my Werner Grand Prix paddle. Unfortunately, we had to leave right away as I needed to be in vernon teaching Monday at 9am and with a 6.5 month old driving times and just plain ol road trips take longer.. I am not one to miss award ceremonies but we had to hit the road so we took the necessary pictures and off we went back to Vernon.

all in all it was a fab little trip of accomplishing errands, meeting up with old friends, and winning a race to to it all off:)

champions of the crescent:)

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Jul 20, 2016

It Takes A Village....From the Yukon to the West Coast

Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf
Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf
We just returned from a pretty epic weekend in Tofino. It was a matter of fate and not turning down open doors that got Tav and I to enjoy the beams of sunshine, waves, and the peacefulness out on the west coast. After a tree jumped in Andrew's way on the trails in whitehorse, Andrew has been out of commission as he suffered some torn muscles in his rotator cuff:( He needed a break from drving and camping to rest, heal and do some physio. This left myself and Tav in an interesting position.... For me, I was left in a state of indecisions.... I was feeling very over run post Yukon River Quest and traveling for 6000km in a car, so figured maybe it was a sign to take a break and cancel the tofino trip but I had a few clinics planned and really didn't want to cancel them..... SO, I was in scramble mode but in the end I felt like it was all too complicated and I should stay at home...Just as I started to feel okay with my decision the world opened its doors and clearly showed me I should be in Tofino. A viable and fun opportunity arose at the last minute thanks to Issy and Jeff from Penticton and the next thing I knew Issy, Jeff, Tav, and I were on our way to Tofino.

The SUP communities around the world and in Canada are supportive welcoming and down right amazing. It is a huge reason why this sport continues to grow and flourish and stands out form the rest (above and beyond just being a great sport in itself)

This past weekend the SUP community once again blew my mind. From the amazing support we encountered in Whitehorse (to name a few Kalin at UpNorth Adventures, Colleen Segriff, etc) to how the community here in the Okanagan and on the island provided selfless help for Tav and I throughout the Tofino weekend. I could not have camped with a 6.5 month old, raced, taught without these amazing people.
Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf

On Friday I got to run two Surf Race clinics. I wanted to offer these clinics for those new to surf racing and get people a little more comfortable in this style of racing. We worked on beach starts, pivot turns, surfing our race boards and some surf race strategies. I was stoked with the groups improvements and the waves and weather were perfect for learning. Tofino delivered. Thanks to South Island SUP and Tofino Paddle Surf for organizing the clinics... They were a total success!

The races were a 3 in 1 package. Everyone won. There were points to be had for the Vancouver Island Six Pack Race Series, points for the BC SUP CUP series as well as it was our first Canadian Surfing Association sanctioned Canadian National Championships.
Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf
Saturday was surf race day. We had about 50 people participate. The waves were just big enough to provide the right kind of challenges yet provide smiles on peoples faces while coming off the water and running past the finish line. The buoy course provided 4km of fun:) I managed to pull off a win but really some of my fav moments were helping with announcements and watching everyone put themselves in a new environment and succeed!
Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf

Sunday was a 6km or 12km coastal distance paddle. This was a great course. I like distance races that offer variety and scenery. Throughout the course we encountered flatwater, ocean swell, and a pretty good mix of ocean swell/reverb off the rocks/current etc. The course also offered epic scenery the entire way, along the coast and throughout the rock islands..... I loved it. It again provided just the right amount of challenge to push those new to ocean racing, entertain those of us that have experience yet allow feelings of success for all:) I also managed to win which gave me the overall title of Canadian Champ but again not the highlight of my weekend... Many of the highlights were the clinics, the people, the camping, the stories, oh did I mention the people?
Picture by Issy venables. Jeff taking care of Tav

Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf
Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf

Thank you once again to Tofino Paddle Surf, South Island SUP, Coastline Shop, Issy and Jeff, and all the paddlers out there for making this an unforgettable and manageable weekend... You are all MY inspiration and motivation.

Picture by Jason B and Carmen M

Picture by Tofino Paddle Surf

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!