After finishing up my winter contract teaching otudoor education, it was straight onto SUP life again. I ended up in Florida because its where my family vacations for their March Break and I wanted to visit them, I was doing a Florida tour for Werner Paddles and frankly I really wanted to get miles on my board in warmer temps. So, the stars aligned and a trip to Florida was set up.
I learned some things on this trip. Despite being 34 and a world traveller I had never rented a car and driven by myself for any length of time. I think I definitely expanded my traveling skill set these last two weeks by driving all over florida with a board on my roof and new places to get too. I can't say I love driving yet but my confidence on the road has definitely increased exponentially. I was lucky to have Jojo Bradock help me out for the first few days, nice to get things started in the company of someone I know. THANKS Jojo for taking the time out of your days to ensure I was on my way in good form.
I met a ton of new people along the way and got to explore new parts of Florida that I had never been. I loved teaching others and meeting new SUP communities. Its great to represent brands I truly believe in and be intimately involved in their successes. Thanks Urban Kai, Naples Outdoor Outfitters, TKS Miami, Sandy Point Progressive Sports, Performance Ski and Sruf, Wave of Wellness, and Epic Boardsports for having me and welcoming me into your shops and communities:)
In between the tours I “relaxed” on treasure island with my family. I put relaxed in quotations marks because I didnt really relax as there are lots of mini half augaitis's running around these days, and I took the opportunity to start training more specifically again. I also tried to play catch up with admin athlete things:) But at the same time I did get to hang by the beach, lounge by the pool, and enjoy sunsets and walks with my dad...
I am both excited and nervous for the upcoming season. I am definitely much more experienced as a racer, know more people in the industry, and feel more comfortable in my position but also have more expectations, and some more goals on my plate that include more than just racing,... so its a lot more to manage. I don't have an agent/manager so its just me trying to juggle athlete, teacher, my brand, wife, life, friends, future:) Its fun for sure, and I love it to pieces but there is a definite learning curve to it all... :)
I also got to race in my first official race of 2015 at the Beach and Boards Fest at Cocoa Beach. It was nice to be back racing and it gave me an opportunity to feel it out again with no stress but still race. It was a fun event and I got to meet some more locals and also some old friends as well. The canadians stole top honours with Gab from Quebec beating out Larry Cain in a sprint for 1,2 in the elite mens. Gab, new to SUP racing, an Olympic flatwater canoeist was not happy with the unequal prize money. Coming from a sport where women still can't compete in the Olympics, he and the rest of the canoe team did not like that a new modern sport, SUP, already was showing signs of inequality with the uneven prize purse. So he wanted to actually make a difference and gave me 100$ so we both won 600$ instead of 700$ and 500$. That was a first for me and a really class act by Gab. Way to go and goodluck in 2016 and beyond, I hope to see you at more SUP events when you retire from Olympic Canoe. I got to spent an afternoon at the Canoe/Kayak training centre in florida as well, which was pretty cool also cool was getting some tips from top paddler Larry Cain:) Thanks for hanging with me:)
Florida is now a wrap. It was great to hang with my sisters, my niece and nephews, my dad and my grandma... It was also really fun to get some training in, eat good food, and meet new SUP communities.
I am now on to my next adventure. Another first, another exciting time. I am in Costa Rica with AguaVida Pavones putting on my very first SUP retreat. I am continually traing to find new ways to step out of my comfort zones, try new things, explore new areas, meet new people, and find a life that is adventurous yet stable.
I am able to do all of this by surrounding myself with pretty amazing people, and luckily have great family, friends, and of course the most amazing hubby which I already am missing:)
live, love, laugh,..DREAM!