Select Page
With Mothers Day upon us, I thought this would be a great opportunity to focus on some of our Jackson Kayak athletes that compete/charge on the water, and they just happen to be mom’s.  Being an athlete is hard.  It takes time, discipline, focus, commitment, and the ability to push your body to its limits. Being a mom is hard. It is exhausting, overwhelming, stressful, and the acts of being pregnant and giving birth are incredibly difficult on the body.  Yet, these women are able to do both.  They don’t use excuses.  They kayak because they love it, and they share that love of the outdoors with their little ones.   This post is about them. 
Emily Jackson
I think it is appropriate to start with Emily.  She has multiple world championships and more 1st place finishes at events such as GoPro Mountain Games, Reno River Festival, and Fibark than anyone else I know.  She isn’t just a freestyle kayaker.  She killed it at the Sickline creek race, was a member of the US Slalom team, and will run the occasional marathon.   She is always there to offer advice and a huge smile on or off the water. 
Valerie Bertrand
Val is our Norwegian momma, she does everything on the water, and she is good at all of it. Creeking, rafting, squirtboating, freestyle, slalom, and surf kayaking.  She has paddled all over the world. She is a strong competitor and coach.  She has a Masters in Physical Education and is always up for fun times on the water.  She has been described as one of the nicest people you will meet.
Ruth Ebens
Ruth is another World Champion.  She grew up on the Ottawa River and is no stranger to big waves.  And, even though she is no longer living up north, she continues to be a fierce competitor.  She has dozens of top 5 finishes and always brings her game at the Reno River Festival which is now her hometown.  She is also an avid skier, gnarly mountain biker, and is always looking for the next adventure.  She is the first one to greet you with a smile and last one to leave the mountain.
Nina Csonkova
Nina is a beast on and off the water. She has top 3 finishes in the European Championships and the World Cup.    She spends most of her time in Europe, but has kayaked everywhere from Africa, South America, Canada, and everywhere in between.   You can also find her in the gym where she trains just as hard as she does on the water.  She can give her husband a run for his money when it comes to strength.
Jessica Yurtinus
My resume isn’t a quarter as impressive as the above ladies.  I have a couple top 3 finishes at the Reno River Festival and a couple Midwest Freestyle Championships.   I love kayaking and I love being outside, whether it is in a boat, on a bike, or on a snowboard.  Being a physical therapist also keeps me busy, but really I want to do is have fun and adventure. 
These women deserve kudos and a round of applause for their hard work.  Being an athlete and a mom is tough work, but they all make it look easy.  Happy Mother’s Day to all those mom’s out there!!!