Dec 24, 2012


WOW, 2012... what a year.

It started in China where we continued to work/travel/take in all that the Chinese culture had to offer. After a year working in China we returned to Canada in July and had an awesome homecoming in Whistler for a Canada Day mountain biking extravaganza (in the rain). It was amazing to be back with friends, on bikes, and in BC.

As we were still renting our apparent until the end of August, we kept moving and landed ourselves in Ontario visiting the Augaitis gang. While enjoying family time, a stand-up-paddleboard race, and the Augaitis cottage, we managed to sneak in an awesome five day back-country canoe/SUP adventure in Algonquin Park. We still had some time to kill before moving back into Vancouver life, so at the end of July we packed the car (which miraculously survived a year languishing in the parking garage) and headed south on a road trip with mountain bikes and SUPs. We rolled through WA and OR with stops to check out some trails along the way toward out target of Stanley Idaho. We spent a week in Idaho and just loved everything about Stanley and surrounding areas. The scenery, the people, the weather, the lakes, the rivers, and most of all the trails. Fast, smooth, long, alpine style mountain bike trails. On the "way home" we ended up in Moab, Utah in the unbelievably hot off-season. There was still great biking to be had, but only in the early hours of the morning. A few brief detours in California and Oregon on the way home (really this time) saw us back in Vancouver and moving back into our place.

As our stuff was all in storage we took the opportunity to tear the place apart and make use of the ideas that have been rattling around in Andrew's head for the four years since he moved in. We're really pleased with the results and are enjoying having a bit more space to move around (and Andrew's enjoying his workshop). Lina has had the chance to travel to Mexico (twice!) since we've been back to paddle and race SUP and enjoy the beach lifestyle. Paddling back in Vancouver is a little less warm, but still possible even if you don't drive standard and your car is a standard...

Something we missed in China was a real winter. Some may argue that Vancouver doesn't have a real Canadian winter (and they'd probably win that argument), but a couple of hours up the road we can find all the snow you could possible want for a day exploring the mountains on skis, which has again brought us back together with all our outdoorsy friends and should keep us entertained until the spring comes and the trails start to dry out.

Our best wishes for 2012, whatever it brings you. May your trail be dry and your snow be crisp.

Lina and Andrew

live, love, laugh,....DREAM!

Dec 12, 2012

MEXICO with Pacific Paddle Surf

What a grand time so far.... I will write a proper trip report when I return home... but some quick updates
Pacific Paddle Surf Crocodile Classic Race: really fun and a total success! Sprint, distance, and short courses... beginners and some of Mexico's Team SUP paddlers!
Daily dose of happiness includes:
beach running every morning followed by ocean swimming followed by paddlefit..... some chill time,... surfing,.... all with amazing people, delicious food, and a beautiful SUN!!!!!

check this out:
Paddlefit classes in Mexico HERE!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 3, 2012

Can't drive the car, can't get the board through the door....

BUT I want to be a stand up paddler?!?

Parking the load

I did not pick the greatest sport for lack of car and small living space arrangements.... but I like the sport  and want to paddle.

Creativity, will, determination, desire, and mental prowess are all things that are helping me solve my great dilemma of getting out on the water and of course.... friends and sponsors!

It is impossible to store  a hard board in our little amazing loft condo. It can't get through the sharp corner to fit through the door and if it could I don't think I'd want to keep trying.... damage on both ends would ensue for sure.

I know I should just suck it up and learn how to drive a stick shift car but ... I really really don't like it, the stress I think would kill me.... since it is currently our only vehicle I am very often sans vehicle...

I stopped by Trident Performance Sport to see if I could demo the new 2013 Starboard Inflatable Astro Touring board (12'6" x 30"). I first tried to strap the board on my rear rack of my bike.... it was a little unstable but doable.... but a little too labour intensive and not that reliable...

Then, I decided to just put the pack on my back and cycle that way to the water. My cycle time to the closest legal paddling water is about 20 minutes (with the board on my back). It is about 30 pounds I think... I have a 3 piece Werner nitro paddle that I stick in the bag along with the pump, leash, inflatable pfd and whatever extra clothes I need. I lock up the bike with my helmet walk down to the dock and pump up the board.... I need to carry everything with me on the board which is a little inconvenient but unfortunately living in a big city I just don't trust that anything that I leave behind no matter how well stashed will still be there when I return from a paddle. So I carry the pump, bag, and whatever else extra I brought with me. Luckily the Astro Touring comes with bungee system that is simple and convenient... I then head off to paddle,... I know I should be training on my race board without stuff on the board and not with a three piece paddle but my racing Werner grand prix paddle... but sometimes you can't have it all... right? At least I get to paddle! AND for an inflatable board, the Astro touring board is pretty nice to paddle on flat water... the shape and dimensions create a more race feel than other inflatable boards. I still feel quite stable so am not worried of falling into the very cold water but also there is not so much stability that I feel like I am not moving forward at all.... I give the Starboard 12'6"x30" astro touring board thumbs up. I hope to do some actually touring on it in the near future...I know I will want more bungees in order to carry more gear for a longer day or days....

 Upon my return from my paddle, I deflate, pack everything back into the bag, put it back on my back, unlock bike and ride home. For me, I know I need to add approx one hour total to my paddle workout for traveling and pumping/organizing needs....

The 20minute bike ride is about max for me until it gets really quite uncomfortable having a huge heavy bag on my back while cycling... so Andrew, my amazing hubby found me a cheap Wike trailer. I use bungee to strap the board onto the platform. It is best used without the bag for less bulk and also it means one less thing to carry on the board with me while paddling.

It takes a little longer to set up and take down before and after my paddle BUT is way nicer to ride with... so for longer commutes to a paddling destination that is a little further away  I will definitely take the little trailer...

I am excited that I figured out a way to still paddle even without a car and a place to store a hard board. I know it is not ideal and I am working on trying to get a hard board near water so I can bike to it and paddle from there.... and here is to hoping something works out.

If I want to pursue my goals for 2013 I do need to sort out the ability to actually get on the water and paddle!

Heading back to False Creek

I am sure it will all come together.... I just need to be a little more creative, a little more determined and maybe endure a little bit more than most to get myself and a board on the water. At times it is tough, especially doing it all alone... but I guess that is that internal motivation/drive in me....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 2, 2012

Yes, Please!

The rain was arrived, the air is brisk, and the clouds are grey..... winter is here.
SUP season is on the down low,  not that many people want to brave the freezin water temperatures combined with the freezin air temperatures and risk the uncomfortableness of it all. Luckily, I DO! HA BUT first things first.....

 Earlier in November, my two part time jobs (thank you Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks and GreenHeart: totally loved working for both companies and appreciate the support!) came to an end as the season changed from pleasant in the city to dreary in the city....The last 3 weeks: I've been trying to find a way to support my new SUP RACING hobbie with some sort of income/job.... Yes, I have moments of doubt, moments where my confidence is on the fence and about to drop off and crack, and yes I feel like an idiot sometimes..... I am 32 and looking for a job again.... hmmm... I am at that point in my life where, I don't think I want just any old job ( I have career ambitions/goals....) but am also at a point where I want to train loads, race lots, and plan and execute expeditions, ane spend time with my hubby and friends...... It is a true struggle...

Funny enough within 1 great day I found 2 jobs that will provide me with new work, fun (I hope!), exciting goals, and income for at least 6 months... Fortunately, they are jobs which are providing me with an even stronger base/experience towards something very exciting (I hope!). I am truly excited to see where these jobs lead me in all aspects of ME but am also nervous about how they will affect my goals for my SUP racing year of 2013... Already, I can not make one of the races I was truly looking forward to: the ISA World Champs in Peru. I was super stoked to paddle for CAN but the timing does not work anymore. What a tough internal decision this was for me. I have to think about sooooo many things and sometimes in life you just have to choose and hope your choice was the right one for you. I had to choose between a job that I can see myself doing and loving for awhile, or at the very least help provide me with amazing experience for future employment opportunities and a race I felt would help me further develop the athlete in me. Deep down in my gut I knew I could not pass up the job opportunity that has been given to me, a job that I so badly was hoping to get the opportunity to try. I had to look at the race in Peru in a different light and although my heart wanted to go I could see there were other opportunities for me to race and pursue my SUP goals for 2013. Sacrifices....

Since my return to Vancouver I have been enjoying all that I was missing while working and living in China. One of those is crossfit. Crossfit Vancouver (Tbear and Kelly) are awesome and it has been such a pleasure to get back into the gym, sweat, push myself, and feel the soreness of a hard push.... I missed it last year,...

I am trying to figure out a schedule for on water/off water "playing" (some would call it training but I prefer the word play) its tough without knowing what my schedule is and that it could change at any moment. I have been able to train more than a working individual these last 3 weeks which has been AWESOME! I love it love it love it.... I am nervous about the next 6 months when I begin work, how will that affect my training? my energy levels? there will be so much to balance: work, family, training, friends, preping for teaching, commuting, relaxing(....who needs to relax?!?haha)... BREATHE..... I will figure it out and love it...

Its funny I sometimes don't realize how successful I have been in my area of expertise. I love live music, plays, musicals, theatre, dance shows, etc.  I just recently got to experience 2 concerts and a contemporary dance show that a friend was a choreographer for. I look at these people on stage and think, geez that is so incredible that they were able to find a gift, and deliver and share it with all these people.... COOL.... I wish I had that...  then I have to step back, reflect and realize I get to do this as well. I get to do it my way in the form of athletics.... EVEN COOLER! HA....

I am looking forward to hopefully securing my secret weapon for 2013 to help me break through and reach my goals. He is am amazing person who inspires me through his passion and his ability to take that passion and his dreams and create an amazing life for himself and others by just getting out there and doing it. I am taking a leap of faith in myself, putting myself out there and hopefully I can make it happen for myself and for others. I want to prove to myself, and especially to others that if you want it badly enough, no matter your situation, with passion, drive, love, determination, and creativity you can also make it happen. We all have gifts, we all flourish in our ow ways, .... love and enjoy your own and then share it! I love learning from others, and being inspired by others!

I like to ensure I take every/most opportunities that are given to me in life... I saw an opportunity to further develop as a person, athlete, and teacher and I grabed it. I am soooooo looking forward to spending 1.5 weeks in MEXICO with the amazing Pacific Paddle Surf family. I met Adam and Vero in Cabo and their spirit, kindness, and passion rubbed onto to me and I needed more of it. I will be off training, teaching, learning, and of course taking in the warm sunshine! THANK YOU Adam and Vero for this opportunity and thank you to Andrew for supporting me in these random acts I do!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!