Most of the time when people ask me what my goals are, I answer back goals that consist of my personal paddling ~ a certain waterfall, river or adventure.  In 2012, however, it was different.  2012 consisted of a shift in my normal paddling routine by focusing more on developing as an instructor and leader in the whitewater industry outside of my paddling performance.  In a way, 2012 was my year to really give back to the paddlesport community.

Here are a few highlights:

Alseseca race in Veracruz, MX

This is an extreme race through 2 miles of whitewater with over 15 vertical slides and waterfalls as well as raising awareness to paddlers and locals about cleaning up garbage around the rivers.  As the only girl racing this section, my competition consists of top male paddlers from all over the world.  With an 8th place finish overall in last years race with smooth lines, 2012 consisted of some ‘not so smooth’ lines, placing me closer to the end of the pack of over 20 competitors.  Nonetheless, it’s always a great time on the Alseseca.

[caption id="attachment_8267" align="alignnone" width="300"] Cleaning up around the Alseseca River.[/caption]

After the race my husband and I were invited to a local elementary school in Tlapacoyan to visit their English class.  We communicated with the kids in english and most of the time just got big smiles and chuckles back.

[caption id="attachment_8268" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Tlapacoyan elementary school[/caption]

Costa Rica with Wet Planet Whitewater

One of the many perks of working for Wet Planet Whitewater were international travel opportunities.  I was fortunate to travel to Costa Rica as the lead kayak instructor for a couple students and support kayaker for the raft trip.  We spent 2 weeks traveling and enjoying the goods that Costa Rica has to offer.

[caption id="attachment_8270" align="aligncenter" width="199"] Plunging into the cold pool below La Fortuna waterfall[/caption]

NW Creeking Competition

The Pacific Northwest is the perfect place, providing quality rivers and tough competition in the racing circuit.  This last April I competed in the NW creeking competition on the East Fork of the Lewis, WA.   Even with a little carnage I ended up placing 3rd with only a second or so behind 2nd place.

[caption id="attachment_8271" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Carnage at the race ~ rock wall to cheek bone![/caption]

Summer of Kayak Instruction and programming

To date, this has been my busiest summer of kayak instruction and kayak programming.  I had the pleasure of teaching beginner kayaker’s, intermediate/advanced kayakers, kid’s camps, junior adventure camps, women’s clinics and First Descents (4 camps), as well as escape away for some multi-day instruction on the Lower Salmon, ID.  Looking back on the summer, it feels good knowing I was a part of getting hundreds of people in boats . . . yes!

[caption id="attachment_8272" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Relaxing with a SUP paddle after a day of kayak instruction on the Lower Salmon, ID[/caption]

National Whitewater Symposium

I took on the role of coordinator for the 2012 Whitewater Symposium, hosted by Wet Planet Whitewater.  This was the first time that the symposium was held in the Pacific Northwest.  In the 12 months of planning and preparation for this event, I worked with many amazing people, made numerous new contacts and learned a lot about the paddlesport community.

Flux Team

I am part of a new team of female athletes in various extreme sports ~ whitewater kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, wind surfing, kiteboarding, mt biking.  “Flux” is a latin word meaning “to flow” with the elements.

Our FLUX athletes are considered some of the top female athletes in their sport.  These women push their limits, face their fears, set high goals and do what they need to in order to reach those goals. They are also passionate about being involved in their community and increasing the amount of women in their sport.

What sets these women apart from others’ is their approach to being top athletes.  Their approach is displayed through setting positive examples of themselves in their work, play, training and everyday lives.  Flux athletes believe you can be a women, an athlete, a mom, a sister, a friend, be respected and really kick some @!#.

[caption id="attachment_8273" align="aligncenter" width="200"] A few of the Flux athletes[/caption]

The growth that we’ve seen in extreme sports from women’s participation in the last 10 years is exciting and encouraging.  We hope to support continued growth throughout 2013.

With all the kayak instruction and event planning this past year, I missed being out on the river for “ME”  . . . but, that’s what 2013 will be full of!  Stay tuned . . .

 A big “thank you” to all the support from Level Six in 2012, helping to keep me happy on the river!

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