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By Billy Harris

Well yesterday saw some pretty amazing rides, no doubt some of the highest scoring rides of the competition. What a lot of people miss is the training that goes into this. Not just skills, however there are tones of tricks to learn. But the time, it takes to learn all this stuff. The frustration, the elation, the hours, the eddy lines. More often than not people forget that being here has taken years of paddling. I however have been very very lucky. Brad Sutton and I started cart wheeling at the top of lower no name 12 years ago. I got to paddle with and be taught by guys like Marc Lyle the old boys of the sport. Clay Wright, Eric, Ken Whiting just to name a few. Each year donating my life to paddling, endless hours. Stressing endlessly about money sponsors, all taking their toll in different ways. Missing my family in the winters, emailing back and forth to sponsors, shooting videos, photos writing articles posting on websites. Not to mention the amount of great paddlers out there… Andrew Holcombe, like who in the world wants to paddle against that guy. If you have ever seen him paddle, river or wave….. Eric Jackson, the ultimate competitor, all day Jay Kincaid. Some flying French dude I don’t even know comes out of nowhere in my world and does stuff that defies gravity. Then the Csonka (the terminator) he can Phonix monkey better than I can and I invented the dam move. Then little Troutman, who apparently had taken his coaching and training very seriously… posting scores yesterday in the 90’s. …not the only one though…

So now, I sit in front of my computer, looking over the list of rides being performed, the list of paddlers looming talent brimming over and wonder what the day will bring. Looking back on what I have done to get here thinking about what I would prefer to do
. And then I get an email from the person you would least likely think. If you don’t know who he is he made all sorts of good but raunchy videos and is no doubt the most crude of dudes, until this happens

If you don’t want to read my motivational s**X, delete now.

Here’s a little Aristotle for ya.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Bro, you have been working at this for as long as I have known you. In that time you have paddled harder than anyone I know, you have gone from a smart ass paddling gromet to one of the most respected paddlers on this planet. You had a plan and you never gave up. Respect to that.

You are, right now, exactly where you want to be. You are at the top of your game. You are strong, you are explosive. You are smart, you’ve known what it takes to get here and look where you are (again) you are exactly where you want to be. You are experienced, you have been here, you know what it takes, you can dial in the focus. This is your wave. Who else matches up against you? Nobody. This is YOUR wave. This is YOUR moment, take it. This is YOUR worlds.

Dial in the focus and execute the final part of the plan. Everything else…. is done.

Carpe Diem,

Ben Aylsworth

Well all the motivational stuff aside, I will do what I came to do along time ago and see if I can once again capture a dream I had when I first started. To everyone who helped and to my family (mush and room) ma and pa McD. Friends like kevin w, strano danks you all rock. My beautiful wife, who supported me in some pretty bleak times guided me to the light. Kristine and Eric Jackson. Thank-nx for the opportunity and for bringing me back on track got lost a bit there for a couple years. Forever in your debt.

Whatever happens I’m in a good place again thanks everyone.

Billy Harris