May 30, 2013

Sometimes, it's the little things in life that count the most...

Sometimes it feels like I am not giving back enough, not being involved in any specific organization, charity, or cause... but its days like today that show me I may be wrong... I may in fact be giving back just the way I want; one person at a time at random moments throughout life. One of my goals through racing, expeditions, and sponsorship is to inspire and motivate others to step out of their comfort zones, push their limits mentally, physically, or spiritually, find their passions and follow through, to live life to their fullest in whatever aspect that looks like for them, to take chances in order to find even more success.

Today, not once but twice I got to experience a "YES, I am giving back to this world" moment,; I am helping others and making waves for someone. Today's work day included taken students climbing in Squamish. It was an amazing day where students were smiling, improving, making friends, and generally having fun in the outdoors. It was so thrilling to see some students who initially were scared and not confident in their abilities succeed throughout the day. These kids were making it up climbs and finding that confidence and joy in achieving something they didn't think they could. They realized that if you try, persevere, and problem solve it is possible to achieve things once thought impossible. Achieving is one of the most wonderful feelings one can feel. Today brought me joy and reconfirmed my love to teach and the outdoors.

Today at Crossfit I had my second moment. An old friend let me know that I had popped into her head during her first half marathon race. She was at a point where she was struggling and thought of me and how I would have pushed through the pain and struggle. This thought re energized her and allowed her to finish the race in good form. Thank you for letting me know this Kat and I am glad I could help:) I think that little note helped me crush that work out today. Love the positive energy!

I was going to write about juggling a full time job and trying to be an elite athlete... but I will save that for another day... this was more important!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

May 13, 2013

Whitewater SUP

Two weekends ago was the Vancouver Kayak Club Whitewater festival in Chilliwack. Whitewater SUP has been on my list of things to try for quite sometime now and this seemed like a great opportunity to give it a go. Thanks to Nikki Rekman Sales for connecting me with Laura, a knowledgeable and talented whitewater SUPer. You can stop by Western Canoeing and Kayaking to say hello! She was a great to have along for my first go down a river.

So Friday night before heading out to watch the premier of STAND (which is very well done and inspirational. I would recommend everyone to go see it, paddler or not) Andrew dusted off his whitewater kayak and paddle, we packed our gear and got ready for an earlyish Saturday morning.

Saturday, Andrew and I managed to get to Chilliwack just in the nick of time, we caught Laura and Marty as they were getting ready to head down the river. I decided not to have my first go begin with class 3 waters and so Andrew and I loaded the Jackson SUPer charger on the roof, grabbed the necessary gear and drove down to Osbourne put in and jumped in there. The first step was to ferry across to the other side of the river to meet Laura and Marty... I was paddling with a Werner Carve paddle, a predator helmet to protect my nogin, a Kokatat drysuit to keep me dry and warm, and I was paddling on a Jackson SUPer Charger, NO leash... The Chilliwack is not a high volume river and lots of rocks so a leash is not the safest option in this case.
Andrew coached me across the first ferry crossing... NO problems:) From there I followed Laura and Marty while Andrew played in the waves, eddie lines and whatever he could find:)... I felt way less nervous than I imagined, the board was super stable and I was loving the little waves. I had been whitewater kayaking twice before and didn't really like the feeling of being trapped in the kayak. The water seemed a lot scarier in the kayak but on the SUP although slightly nervous at times, I was never frozen scared:) I kept my legs strong but soft so I was able to move with the bumps....
I do find it weird that I am not strong enough to control the river... I can't just stop or go exactly where I want to go when I want to go, and if I missed something I couldn't go back.... it takes some getting used to the lack of control that I have and hoe much control the river has.

I made it down without a fall:) A very successfull first attempt at whitewater SUPin.... I am keen to get out again!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!