Category Archives: Diabetes

Your Body is a Miraculous Machine …

Sunny Mexican Christmas

Happy 2016 Everyone!

A new year but no real resolutions for me. I’m sticking to my training plan as I prepare for the World Sprints in Australia. They are coming up super quick which means that every workout, every meal, every sleep, everything counts.

If you’ve been following my instagram or facebook page, you know that I’ve been ensuring that I’m having balance in my life.  From the vacation in Mexico with Rick to spending time with my fav Christmas present from Mom and Dad, my colouring book. So many people ask me how I manage to do everything that I do: work full time, train 1-3x/day, manage my Type 1 Diabetes, Coach and serve on volunteer boards and still have time to see my husband once in a while 🙂

When I was last training full time, I was working only working intermittent part time. I doubt that I’d have the energy to do both if I hadn’t met Dr. Susan Kleiner in 2014. I have learned so much about how my body uses different foods, how to better manage my Diabetes, how to NOT be starving constantly, but best of all, I’ve learned that I can’t train without proper fuel for my body and what fuel works best for my engine.

Take a look at Dr. Sue’s latest videos for a glimpse into some of the principles that I’ve been incorporating into my training for the past year.

Dr. Sue and the rest of the amazing team at Vynna are revolutionizing how  women fuel their training. They are busting myths about carbohydrates, weight loss/gain, training and want to put the message out there to all female athletes that …

The VynnaTM brand is built for YOU by women like you.” –


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.


Gorge – Downwind heaven!

I just got home from one of the most fantastic weeks of paddling that I’ve had (and there have been a lot!). I had the privilege of spending a week down in the Hood River, OR area paddling the Columbia River Gorge.  This place is a downwind mecca! #wavesfordays Rick and I got down to Home Valley, WA just as the sun was going down on Sunday night. Got our tent set up and crashed. Monday morning started with a stroke clinic with the one and only Johnny Puakea. It was great to work with him again and hear his insights into technique and of course ideas of how to make me go faster. It’s still sinking in some of the points he shared that have evolved since I last worked with him in 2013.  After that, it was time for the downwind runs to start!

As the week went on, I got to paddle with lots of people from Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Seattle and all over. It was great to visit with old friends and make new ones as well. Sleeping in a tent for the first time in a lot of years worked out better than I could have hoped. Thank goodness for all my Diabetes supplies as an adhesive covering for my infusion sites/sensor sites worked as a great patch on my air mattress 🙂

The main reason I was at the Gorge was to paddle in the Gorge Paddling Festival’s North American Downwind Championships. The organizers had a wind window for the race and based on the forecasts moved the race ahead a day. So Thursday was the big day. Sadly the turnout for outriggers wasn’t near what it hopefully will be in the future but the surfskis started only a few minutes behind so there were lots of boats on the water to battle with.

by Stawicki Photography
by Stawicki Photography
by Stawicki Photography
by Stawicki Photography

I’m super stoked with my race, I changed my line from previous runs based on what I had learned and heard from others and managed to pass a few boats that way. I caught as many runs as I could but there was a stretch where it completely died out. But on the other hand, there were sections where I had some surfski guys doing double takes as I flew by.  I finished as the top woman and seventh overall in outrigger.

By Ernie Wong
By Ernie Wong

The next day was the Wildside Relay where I teamed up with Vancouver powerhouse, Rob Magus. Again, the wind was kicking and I had some of the best rides of my career coming through Swell City.  I didn’t want to pull in to the relay exchange as the rides were so much fun!  Rob and I were the top OC1 mixed team and 8th overall in OC1.

by Tran Luu
by Tran Luu

It was sad to leave on Sunday and go back to work but I will  get back down there next summer to defend my title and hopefully bring a ton of paddlers from Kelowna Paddle Centre with me!

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

Kalamalka Classic – You gotta paddle here!

If you have never experienced the Kal Classic SUP Festival then you need to put it on your calendars right now for next Labour Day weekend. Kevin, Mel, Allan and the rest of the crew at Kalavida Surf Shop put on one heck of an event. There’s something for everyone from your World Champion (like Lina Augaitis), to your weekend warrior, to your 4 year old child and everyone in between. It was great to catch up with paddlers that I’ve met over the past two seasons and hang out.
This year did not disappoint with mother nature even coming to the party on Saturday with a mess of wind for the Wiki Holo Finals! But she failed to give us that kind of wind for the 16km down Kal Lake on Sunday.

I finished third over the weekend behind World Champ Lina Augaitis and amazing paddler Shannon Bell (who also has had great showing at the 2013 ISA Worlds). It’s a privilege to be able to line up with these two along with the other fantastic women that were there this weekend.
I had a rough start to the Wiki Holo technical course heat. Thank goodness it was two laps! I was 6th off the start and managed to make it up to fourth by the end of the first lap and third by the second buoy of the second lap and held on. I was stoked with my pivot turns!

Photo by: Mark Klein
Photo by: Mark Klein

The finals was just one lap but worth double the points! The competitive women got to watch the rec classes and competitive men battle the waves on the course before we got our turn. Instead of pivot turns that went beautifully in my heat, I tried to play it safe with cross bows. Well, after 3 or 4 swims I was thankful that I’m strong in a headwind as that’s where i was able to make up a lot of ground to battle for third again.

Making the pass!
Making the pass!
It was so close we didn't know who was 3rd or 4th
It was so close we didn’t know who was 3rd or 4th

The relay races to end the day lead to a Naish One Inflatable SUP being awarded. Absolute blast with my team!

4 people + 1 board
4 people + 1 board

Sunday morning saw 100+ paddlers going down the length of Kal Lake. With a little headwind and Debbie on my tail for the first half, I knew I had to stay strong. I never looked back to see when I dropped Debbie off my wash but I knew I couldn’t hear her anymore. I also knew that if I let up that she would be working her way right back up there! Thank goodness for my hydration pack filled with Vitargo. I wasn’t thirsty per se but I knew I needed the fuel to keep going that hard. It did not disappoint, I didn’t cramp, I didn’t bonk, I was able to keep pulling even after I could feel the blisters on my fingers break open. My official time was 2:02:01 on my 12’6 Bark Competitor. Not to shabby considering last year I was 1:57:18 on my 14′ Think XoR with no headwind.

Fantastically fast women!
Fantastically fast women!

One more race and then my season is complete. What a year it’s been for my “year off, just paddling for fun and not training.”

Thanks to Mark Klein, Neil Gibson and Dorine Berube for taking such great photos!