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Emily Jackson’s Wonderful Amazing 2010 Year In Review


2010 was another fantastic year and I got to experience new waters, new places, and continue the lifestyle of the kayaking nomad.

It started off with a Trip in Uganda in February. Aunt Jessie Stone (voluntary aunt) needed a training partner and I needed to get back there as it is one of my favorite places on the world. Jessie wanting to be trained also meant better training for me! We paddled hard and spent many days out in the field doing family planning, malaria education sessions, visiting orphans or simple “follow ups.”

This was great for me because I love the feeling you get from knowing what you just explained will have a big impact on someone’s life, for instance, “That’s what’s making us so sick!?” or “That’s how I get pregnant!?” Knowledge is power and I love being a part of that.

After Uganda I came home and paddled in RI, training on the smaller wave and working on my wave moves. We also went and ran several runs in the Dynamic Duo and new Villains.

We then went up to Wisconsin where we visited with several of Jackson Kayak’s dealers and did a paddling show, Canoecopia. It was heaps of fun and Nick and I had a couple days break so we went snowboarding, to the world’s largest indoor water parks, you name it, it was an absolute blast! We also always made sure our $40 hotels had hot tubs!

Right when we got home it was straight into the first event of the year, the Alabama Mountain Games.

Like usual we had a blast and I ended up being able to compete in the Men’s class and placed 6th. Not bad but I know I can do better!

After that we went home to pack up for the rest of the tour. First stop was the T’Ville Triple Crown, this event was a lot of fun and entertaining to say the least! It’s a slalom race, wild water boater cross and freestyle down the rapid. The kayaking was a blast and the community was super supportive. All n all it was simply a great time! I had so much fun hanging out down by the river and paddling all sorts of different boats!

Next we drove off to Reno NV, to get ready for the Reno River Festival and paddle some of California’s great runs.  I ran 49 to Bridgeport twice and loved it, it’s definitely a perfect Villain run, boof heaven!

Also got to fool around on Polly Creek and Lavazola, these were so much fun and we did several laps and finished the evenings camping with steak on the fire and veggie galore!  True kayaking style.

The Reno River festival was a great festival and I had my highest scoring ride to date, 980 points!

I had tricky woo’s, phonic’s monkeys, mcnastys and orbits, so much fun to know you are sneaking up on the boys. Of course they are still sneaking ahead too so I am always playing catch up!

After the Reno River Festival we headed on out to Colorado where we competed in event after event.  The CKS Festival and BV Pro Rodeo reminded me of how to be a better paddler better than any other event of the year. Semi finals were a day before finals and I did not have the moves to win, Ruth could stick a mcnasty anywhere she wanted and I was flushing every time. So I stayed up past dark paddling in the cold working on another hard move to counteract her mcnasty, the next morning I pulled out my back pan am and ended up winning!

This encouraged me to always push myself so I continued on to the Steamboat event where Ruth and I tied and took home all sorts of goodies. Then it was the Teva Mountain Games where it was record high levels and HUGE trees were coming down on us the whole event. The feature was literally blown out and people had the lowest scores in the history of the TMG. But before the water went too high up I got to compete in my prelims and I had the 2nd highest ride of the WHOLE event. Including men, although its not fair because the water levels were changing, I am still proud and always will be.  I stuck one of the few combos and I pushed myself harder  as I knew I really wanted it. Now I am 6x TMG winner and just saying that gets me super excited!! (can I make 10?!) I also competed in the Homestake race but my focus was to increase the amount of girls and have a good time, I eddy hopped the whole course and didn’t compete but simply paddled down the race course. Never have I taken that approach to an event but now I feel better that I can. And it shows that safety is the most important thing.

Lyons Outdoor Games was fun like usual but the weather was obscene! It was so weirdly cold. And I got my uncle to come and paddle in the cold with me! Go Uncle Scott!

FIBARK was the next event and it was a different pace for me, I was visiting with my extended family, and my mother in law flew in. It was a blast to have them all over and we spent a lot of time eating out and walking around and doing the usual visit a town thing. I ended up placing second at this event and didn’t paddle my greatest at all, but that’s what drives me to paddle my best, if I won all the time I wouldn’t push myself harder.

Afterwards I flew out to France to compete at the Natural Games. It is very similar to the Teva Mountain Games but for Europe, they had much more unique sports such as paragliding. It also gave me chance to see how the European girls were paddling and visit with our French Dealer KWA.  I ended up winning but it took several people to explain the full point system to me, I was always confused when I would think I had a certain score it would be completely different, ends up space godzillas are like the highest scoring move ever! I flew straight from France back to the US. I had two days before the next rodeo, talk about busy!

The US Team Trials was on a week day  because the city needed special permits for weekend events. This event was one of the best ones I went to all year. It was set up in way that the kayakers were happy and there were bleachers full of people watching.  Missoula, Montana is where it was held and what a fun town! Great food, shopping, people, and the spot was a blast. I had a bi so I was competing as  a ghost, I ended up feeling like the permanent coach with everyone asking my to judge their rides and time and give them any pointers. This felt great because I want everyone to paddle their best and I did want to help them. It ends up being kinda funny when you help all of them though! I forgot it was my turn several times in the event! The whole time I competed I just tried combos and either I got some or I failed miserably. I ended up winning thanks to a backstage split clean cartwheel combo.

After this I flew straight up the Ottawa river where I was reunited with my hubby and the Ottawa river. We then went on the Grand Canyon for the first time and all I can say is OMG! It was AMAZING! So incredible, whitewater and scenery wise, cant even explain!

I trained and paddled there for almost 2 month, competed in the first Pan American Championships where I failed horribly. My head wasn’t in the game at all and I crumbled big time…

But it’s the perfect way to end the last event as now I feel better and stronger then ever. Not paddling well made me decide I don’t want to just try to beat the girls, I want to be the best.

After a fantastic Gauley Season and NOC Hometown Throwdowns I managed to cap off the season with some great weather fall boating! ( I also completed a century ride and marathon and will continue to do one each year!)

Now I am training hard in Rock Island and preparing for another trip to Uganda! I am also focusing on running more rivers in the new year and beating up on some boys.

Big thanks to all who support me, Jackson Kayak, Sandiline, Snap Dragon Designs, Predator Helmets, Lightning Paddles, Astral Vests, Horny Toad Clothing, Optic Nerve Glasses and True North Outdoor Support Vehicle. Yep next year I will be in my own little home away from home!

I hope everyone has a fantastic new year and who knows what my 2011 Review will be like, perhaps something like World Domination and Pure FUN!

Happy New Years and Best of Luck with whatever your goals may be!

Emily Jackson

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