Balance. Strength. Technique. The challenge of Canoe/Kayak is pushing your mind and body to the limit everyday for years at a time, for the chance to paddle for the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
I came to sprint kayaking after a successful collegiate athletic career as a cross-country ski racer at Bates College. I competed at the Junior World Championships, NCAA Championships and the Junior Olympics. In 2008 after a career ending training accident I decided I was not done with elite level sport and I switched my focus to sprint kayaking.
In November of 2009 I moved from my hometown of Bethel, Maine to train in Oklahoma City at the National High Performance Center under the direction of Great Britain Olympic Coach, Shaun Caven. The move helped accelerate my kayaking career resulting in 2 Silver, and 3 bronze World Cup medals, countless national titles and appearances in multiple world championships in 3 different watersports disciplines sprint kayaking, dragon boat, and marathon kayaking.
Six days a week, I work out at the boathouse two to four times daily either on the water, in the weight room, or on the running trails. Between sessions, I focus on my academic career pursuing a Ph.D in neuroscience at OUHSC and work on a contract basis for health and wellness programs. Juggling school, work and competing at an elite level at the same time is a challenging task. However, I truly believe it brings balance to your life to maintain physical and mental goals; and success in one compliments success in the other.
Class rooms can only teach you so much. Competing around the world against people from all walks of life, while pushing your mind and body is an experience that has taught me more invaluable lessons about myself and the world that I could have ever imagined. The time I have spent on rivers, lakes, canals and ocean has allowed me to see parts of the world others miss out on- even if its just around the corner. As a paddler, I have had the opportunity to go to parts of the world and the country I never dreamed.