Aug 27, 2015

Aug 26, 2015

Hood River: new career move?

Cool view of the scene by Elder SUP

The Gorge Paddle Challenge is always a great place to be... Hood River is a pretty rad little town with water sports galor, mtn bike trails, hiking, skiing, glaciers, great breweries, bike shops, outdoor shops, restaurants, rivers, the list CAN go on...

I was in Hood River earlier this summer with a group of close friends where we spent 4 days mtn biking hut to hut around Mt Hood... it was brutally hot, and the days were long but the views gorgeous, the company fabulous, and the river dip at the end of the ride was worth every sweat bead my body had to provide.

This time, 2 months later 2 months more pregnant I come back to Hood River for the water aspect. Thankfully Avery's dad is a beast of a driver and got us all to Hood River in one piece. We were stoked despite forest fires and long nights of driving.. We got in Friday afternoon just in time to sneak in a great Downwind Run, the wind was pumping and we were all dying to get out... I got to also ride the prototype SIC 12"6 FX board which was great in the waves. I felt great out there, but clearly didn't push my hardest just really was out enjoying the bumps and the scene..
Some/most of the PNW crew: love this community

Saturday I tested out my skills on the MIC. Al Paterson is an amazing MC and I felt a little nervous but also so glad to be able to be up in the announcer booth with him. Surprisingly, our team work felt very natural and it was totally fun, I also got to enjoy the day with Chuck and MJ. It was definitely a little tough to watch the elite women compete, as I should have been there paddling with them, but it is also good to know my limits during pregnancy and I am sure I will be back racing in the future. Rest is good, and will hopefully make me stronger physically and mentally for upcoming races. Thanks Al for the great experience, and for the rest of the Gorge Paddle Challenge team for allowing me to be a part of the event despite not racing.
Al, MJ, me, Chuck: the announcing crew

On Sunday, I got the pleasure to be in a support boat following the elite women's race. I called in reports to Al who then announced them on the speaker. Once the ladies were in I got back in the announcer booth and helped announcing the rest of the finishers. Thank you Victoria and Scott for the fun times on the boat.. It was great to experience the river from a different vantage point, relaxed, comfortable, in great company on the motorboat.
Victoria, me, Scott: the boat crew for elite women

All in all I had a great experience at the Gorge, I got to be a part of this great event, connect with my paddler friends as well as everyone else who is part of the SUP community. I also got to experience a different aspect of racing, and you know what? I loved that too:) YAY! I feel like I am really getting to expand my horizons, my skills, and my ability to reach all sorts of amazing folks from all walks of life.

I love new adventures and experiences

over 200 paddlers paddle out in a circle to give spirit to Andres and his search

Despite a lot of successes, new experiences, and positive experiences I do have to address a sad tragedy that our community experienced on the weekend at the Gorge. A great man and paddler from Miami, Andres Pombo went missing while on a downwind run on Friday afternoon. I have met him when I was down in Miami teaching some SUP clinics. It is really hard and sad to see lives lost, and people heartbroken through sudden accidents. There has been a lot of communication over the internet about how it was handled and people's thoughts and theories, emotions, etc. My heart goes out to everyone who was close to him and to everyone in the SUP community for this tragic loss. I do want to reflect on what we can learn from this and how to move on to help prevent further tragedies such as this one. Distressed mullet wrote a great piece on safety out on the water. Check it out below
Distressed Mullet writes a great article on safety...

It is so important to be aware of conditions, your abilities, who you are going with, and take the appropriate precautions before setting out on the water.  SUP may seem like a simple sport to some outsiders but it is important to take lessons from good instructors and be aware of all aspects of the sport. Being someone who lives in a colder environment and surrounded by cold water safety is always my priority when out in the water. I always think of my safety plan before I head out (even though I am a pro SUP athlete, one of the best in the world infact,...) I also make sure I know the people I am with and ensure we trust each other and can help each other in difficult situations. I do this in all of my outdoor sports/adventures (paddling, skiing, mtn biking). I hope we all continue to learn and keep sharing the stoke of watersports with others in a safe and totally awesome way:)

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Aug 20, 2015

SUN N' SUP Clinic August 18th 2015

Had a blast spending the afternoon/evening in Naramata with the SUN N SUP community. Naramata is a very quaint little community nestled between about 35 wineries and on the shores of Lake Okanagan. If you haven't found yourself exploring this part of the world yet you definitely should... There is mtn biking, any water sports, rock climbing, and enough wineries to keep you occupied for quite awhile:)

I got the chance to teach a 2 hour clinic in the sunshine with a really great group of paddlers. We practiced lots of different skills and enjoyed the refreshing lake to cool off when it got too hot! Hope to make it back there again soon!

Thanks Paul and Sun N SUP crew for the pics:)

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Aug 17, 2015

The Summer of the beginning of the new generation of Canuck SUPerstars:)

Since my last elite race was the end of June this year... I have taken on a few new projects for the summer... Creating, teaching, inspiring the new generation of mini Canadians to paddle fast and love it...

I have taught 5 weeks SUP kids camp through Kalavida Surf Shop and Camp Hatikva.. I likely saw about 40 kids through those programs alone...

I have also developed the Junior SUP Club in conjunction with Kalavida Surf Shop. Here, is where I am hoping to continue to create a strong development program of future SUPerstars... hehehe.. and or give kids a chance to try out the sport in a more competitive and structured way. The overwhelming response in the Okanagan, specifically Vernon BC has been amazing. There are around 35 kids ages 8 through 13 that have signed up for the Junioe SUP Club this summer. These numbers have inspired me to continue my work with them and to continue to grow the program next year and throughout the years to come. Watch out world... some Vernon SUP stars might be causing some world drama:)

I am also trying to start morning SUP training sessions where we older folk get together and I run interval workouts for those interested in fitness and or racing. (still working on growing this one...)

Kalamalka Classic is one of Canada's largest SUP events and it will be its 6th year running. I have been the Queens of the Lake for 4 of the 5 years (I was away working in China in 2012) and am now stepping into the organizational role for this and hopefully future years. Its been fun helping out on the other end of things.... Come on out Sept 5/6 2015 to Vernon BC (Kalamalka Lake Beach) and check it out and let me know what you think:)

I am off to the Gorge Paddle Challenge this weekend.... there is a rather small chance I might race?!?!!? but am hoping to jump in the announcer booth and help out in order to keep getting my feet wet in the event organization side of things:)

So, I have been busy busy... but its not just about others,... I have been working on staying healthy and in shape.... don't count me out of 2016 races just yet... I have some plans up my sleeve:) hehehe

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Aug 11, 2015

Quadra Island Fun

photo by Dana 

photo by Dana

I suppose July had been the longest time where I have stayed in one spot and away from the ocean in quite some time.
Moving to Lake Country has been amazing and I have been on my board more than ever for training, commuting, and teaching but the ocean is a whole other beast and different kind of love. I do miss it but truly, it is not that far away,and although my life will soon be slightly more complex and different when our first child is born, I am confident the ocean will never be too far away.
photo by Dana

Originally, I was suppose to be out on the east coast of the US sharing the Werner and SUP stoke but as plans changed I found myself able to make the Quadra Island trip instead.  Although, I love my new life as a pro athlete, teacher, outdoor enthusiast, traveling the world, racing, etc it is nice to sometimes sit back and enjoy a nice long weekend with good friends, where competition or training are not the focus... Its important to find these moments (whether they are easier due to injury, pregnancy, or whatever life has thrown at you or by maybe making a choice not to go race one weekend and instead explore and relax...)

The weekend was a mix of Bachelorette, birthday, relaxing, camping, SUP, mtn bike, wine tasting(I was the DD) and just all around good outdoor fun with a solid group of folks.
PHOTOS (thanks Dana!):

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!