Category Archives: Coaching

My Pledge

Over the past couple years I’ve noticed a shift in myself. It started following my accident in 2012 that forced me to focus outside of myself in order to keep my injuries from consuming me. I learned how fulfilled I can feel by helping other people challenge themselves, succeed and exceed their goals.  Since then, I have been investing in developing my coaching skills and credentials  so that I can better serve the paddlers with whom I have the privilege of working. (Can you tell that my husband, Rick the English teacher, edited that last line so I didn’t end the sentence with a preposition?)

Earlier today I saw a post that really hit home even though it was based on triathlon. It made me think about why I paddle, and what kind of representative of the sport that I want to be. It made me think about why I paddle, why I train so hard and punish my body when I could be spending time with family, reading books (that don’t have to do with training or paddling) and furthering my career.  The answer is simple … because I love it. It keeps me grounded. It makes me happy.

The following has been adapted from PearlIzumi – The Pledge.

If there’s any kind of benevolent paddling god out there, we’ll keep this sport right where it was when we all fell in love with it: a sanctuary for anyone and everyone who yearns to be on the water, to sweat, sacrifice and suffer their way to happiness. Give the Pact a read. If it sounds like something you’re into, share it. Then live it.


I will endure.

I will enjoy.

I shall only partake in this crazy sport I love, because I love it.

And I will quit when I quit loving it.

womens crews


I am a representative of this sport.

As such, I will do my part to take the “ass” out of ambassador.

No matter how goofy somebody looks, I shall not mock.

But I will mock myself. Often.Happy Paddlers

I will show respect to everyone I see with a wave or smile or nod.

Maybe even all three.

If it’s not returned, I will not shake my head.Para Camp 2015

Because I do not know what’s going on in theirs.

I will be inclusive.

Even of the exclusive.

I will encourage the beginner,the professional, and Kauai 2014everyone in between.


I will place joy above performance, use my fingers for peace, not profanity, and I will focus on the scenery more than the scene.

I will believe in positive vibes as much KPC 2014as stroke rates and speed; good karma as much as good technique.


Whatever my jersey or shirt may say, I know we’re all on the same team.

Queen Lili win

And when I’m suffering the most, I will remember that this is not life or death.


Even if it is my life.


Endure & Enjoy


Dream. Prove. Conquer.


2016 World Sprints here I come!

The stage is now set for redemption.

On Sunday, 10 ladies from the Kelowna Paddle Centre (KPC) travelled to the Canadian Outrigger Racing Association’s National Team Time Trials to see how they stacked up against the rest of the country and qualify for World Sprints in Australia May 2016.  It was a beautiful day with sun shining and blue sky.

Before all the action started, we were on the docks rigging boats under beautiful sunny skies.
Before all the action started, we were on the docks rigging boats under beautiful sunny skies.

The V1 races were up first for the women and OC1 for the guys.  I felt good going into the day. It was great to see all kinds of friends as people warmed up and were getting ready for their heats. I mistimed my warm-up so didn’t quite get as much as I had planned on but once I hit the water it was game time. I was relaxed but focused. I knew that the boats for the trials were easier to steer than ours at KPC.

Going into this weekend I knew that my biggest competition was going to be the clock. Early this year I set some goal times that I wanted to achieve.  Coming down the course I felt fast, strong but didn’t even notice how close the finish was and missed part of my race plan.  Clocked in with a 2:30.18, second fastest V1 time of the day (only beaten by a guy).

I had the chance to cheer on the rest of my KPC girls before paddling again in the OC1. I think I had more fun cheering them on then I did my own paddling! With hitting my goal time in the V1 I was ready to lay it down on the OC1. I knew that I’d have company at the front as our KPC manager and former National Team Marathon K1 paddler Tamlyn Bohm was in my heat. The cockpit C-Lions were uncomfortable with inconsistent steering but I paddled the race according to my race plan and even had some fun opening the throttle for  a sprint into the finish line for a time of 2:33.17.

Overall the Kelowna women dominated! Open women – KPC ladies were 6 of the top 7 times and only 2 of us were actually open age!  Masters women – KPC had 7 of the top 11. And our Senior Masters gals made up 3 of the top 6. I can’t begin to express how proud I am of every single one of these girls. They worked hard, put in the time on the water and it paid off!  Now they have benchmarks and the experience to take into the trials for Tahiti 2018.

The KPC women after a day of hard work.
The KPC women after a day of hard work.

As for me, it’s time to find some funding to help with my expenses for Australia 2016. If you can help a girl reach her dream of being the fastest paddler in the world, contact me 🙂

Echo Island Challenge

What a day for Kelowna Paddle Centre, with 42 paddlers and lots of family and friends there to cheer and support! All crews raced hard, challenged themselves and for many, conquered their first race!
I am so proud of how each of the Kelowna Girls crew! They stepped up to the challenge. Some of these gals are seasoned race veterans and for a couple this was their longest race yet.
An aggressive pace was set right from the start and we maintained contact with the strong Kelowna Master’s crew throughout the race. At 7km we were about 1:30 behind and came across the line (16.5km) just 2:36 behind. Each of gals dug deep, I could see, feel (and hear) the effort that they were putting in every time I called a push. These girls are hungry for more racing, I love it!

Masters and Open crews
Masters and Open crews
Kelowna's Open Women
Kelowna’s Open Women
Rick's longest race yet!
Rick’s longest race yet!

Survive the Triangle? No, it was conquered!

Survive_the_Triangle_06202015_lgThis weekend was my first weekend of racing in 2015. A little later in the year than normal but I’m following my plan to lead me to the World Outrigger Sprints next May.

Kelowna Paddle Centre had a number of paddlers competing this weekend. Three boats were in the first race at 9:30am on Saturday: an open mixed crew and novice mixed crew in the 10km short course along with our Women’s crew which I had the privilege of paddling with.  The KPC mixed crew kept us honest for the first 10km and after they finished we went for the second lap. It ended up a couple minutes slower than the first and a stronger headwind but overall, we were happy with the race. The girls are strong and had more in the tank if it was needed but second place was almost 14 minutes behind our 1 hour 46 minute time for the 20km.  I was thankful for my Vitargo during the race (raced with grape mixed with unflavoured this time) as my blood sugars started at 9.7 and finished at 4.5. Shortly after we got out of the boat and took it back up to the trailer, I had my Vitargo Post in hand. The open mixed, novice and men’s crews all won their races as well.

I was so proud during the awards dinner to see my husband up getting an award for being part of the winning novice crew in his first race. I was also stoked to see so many of my clinic participants up receiving crew awards as well. It was nice being able to see them on the water doing a lot of the things we talked about at the clinic!

Today was the small boat event. Once again KPC was well represented. With a mass start, I had the opportunity to start against the men’s OC1 and OC2s. I had a great start, hitting a max speed of 13.9km/hr. I’m looking forward to seeing the drone footage of it. I had lots of space after the first few strokes and stayed on the gas for the first couple kilometers. I have to admit, I was feeling Saturday’s 20km for the first half but about km 6 I started to feel good and was able to lengthen my stroke, rotate more and use more effective leg drive. I could hear a few boats behind me and there was no way I was going to let them catch up.  I finished as the first woman across the line but also placed 2nd overall in the OC1. When I checked out my Dexcom graph, blood sugars spiked a bit after the beginning of the race but came right back down by the end. Once again, after my boat was up on the grass I had my Vitargo Post as I know that tomorrow’s 6am workout will come pretty quick and I know that without Post, I’d be sluggish and going through the motions instead of being able to push and get the most of the training session.

Thank you to the organizers for their time and efforts in putting on the event.
And of course thank you to my husband, sponsors and supporters for continuing to believe in me and keep my dream alive.  Vitargo, Vynna, Animas, Okanagan Peak Performance, Wave Physiotherapy

Canadian National Outrigger Champion

This past weekend was the Howe Sound Iron Outrigger Race which served as the Canadian Outrigger National Championships in beautiful Gibsons, BC.

Saturday was the OC6 (6 person outrigger canoe) race. It was listed as a 26km course but thanks to my team’s amazing steersperson, Christine, our route was only 23km. It was an exciting race right from the start! There was an island about 250m from the start that all teams had to turn around before starting their journey up the shoreline.  With 14 boats on the line, we knew things would be tight coming into that turn but we were not expecting to be cut off by an experienced crew beside us as they were pinched as well. Our Kelowna boat stopped in order to prevent the boat that cut us off from going into the rocks and also running into two other boats. This meant that we had to restart after the team ahead got straightened out and out of our way.  From here we had to play catch up.  We knew that we had a lot of distance ahead and stuck to what we’re good at … making every stroke count.

First we passed my former club from Toronto, Wai Nui before making our way past the Comox women.  That left three boats ahead of us. Following the buoy turn at the 6km mark we managed to pull in the False Creek women and make the pass. We spent the rest of the race chasing down Gorge from Victoria (team that we had to stop for). Words can’t even express how proud I am of my Kelowna teammates for digging deep and coming within 5 seconds in a 2 hour 10 minute race. We were 32 seconds behind the first place crew for a third place finish.

This is what 5 seconds looks like
This is what 5 seconds looks like
Receiving our awards for 3rd at Nationals
Receiving our awards for 3rd at Nationals

Sunday’s small boat race was exciting on so many levels. My good friend Ron let me use his Ehukai which is the same boat that I’ll be getting next month. Lolo Wiki (Crazy Fast) did not disappoint! Though she did throw me into the ocean twice during the race, I still managed to reel in a lot of paddlers to the point where there was only one other OC1 ahead of me.  I almost had him before the second swim but alas, I was the top woman.

Winning the Pulling Water Smallboat Challenge, aka Nationals!
Winning the Pulling Water Smallboat Challenge, aka Nationals!
She was crazy fast on this day
She was crazy fast on this day