Challenge By Choice
Updated: Jul 18, 2021
Commonly I’m asked: Am I excited for this long paddle?
Answer: Nervous & excited.
30 days out seems pretty real now, I plan to get a few long paddles in until I leave but honestly the best preparation is body management and ensuring I’m prepared with trip planning, gear and food.
To choose such a large adventure willingly is not “normal” to the average person. The best analogy is everyone has their own Everest to climb in life. Our moments of success and accomplishment do not have to mirror or mimic anyone else's.
For some, learning to stand on a paddle board and enjoy their local lakes is an amazing feat. Others may be looking to reclaim their health and feel good enough to get towed around on their board by a friend just to enjoy nature and be outside again.
We can never predict where life takes us on this journey and what may have been once easy now requires adaptation. Long trail runs in the mountains used to be my preferred enjoyment until arthritic feet deemed that too painful to continue. I’m so thankful to have paddling as an outlet.
After last year’s 200 km/2 ½ day paddle down The Athabasca River to the Grand Rapids it became apparent I wanted to see more of the river system (all of it specifically). It also seems reasonable that tripling the distance is possible over 10 days.
The most uncertain portion of the trip is weather. The response of my body and managing it plays a large role as well.
Our mind is a powerful tool and after participating in many endurance events over the years the inspiration I’ve garnered from that stays with me. We really don’t know what we're capable of and how deep we can dig until we push the limits of our mind. The mind will get you through anything!
With a flexible outlook already, I’m aware some days I may have to paddle until 10 pm if weather impedes me or alternatively I could be starting at 6 am and stopping at 1 pm you just never know what Mother Nature brings to the table.
Similar to previous ultra events, the nervousness starts to calm the closer I get to the actual date, it’s as though it’s past the point of no return and worrying about it won’t change it. I’m either ready or not for what I’m embarking on.
Be sure to follow Love N Sup on Facebook and I will have live tracking of my journey with locations posted as updates. Until then follow the prep leading up to it on Instagram @love_nsup or @paddleathabasca ( #riverofhope).
Thank you for all the support and reaching out to connect!