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Every 1st of January a bunch of nuts that love white water all meet up at noon to paddle the Shoshone rapids of the Colorado River. Some years are warmer than other years but nobody lets the cold stop them from starting the New Year off right.

A few days before the annual New Year’s Day paddle I was telling my family I wasn’t going to paddle because it was going to be 10° and that was just too cold for me. No matter how hard they tried, and they didn’t try very hard, they couldn’t change my mind, only I could do that. The day before the paddle I asked myself, “why am I not going to participate?” It’s the first day of the year, what else was I going to do? I told myself I was only going to be cold for tops an hour. I’ve been much colder for much longer. My younger siblings were even doing it. Heck, my brothers don’t even have drysuits. And they were still doing it. They weren’t going to let that stop them. They love kayaking so they’d do anything to kayak. I decided, so was I.

The whole point of the New Year’s Day paddle is for everyone who loves whitewater sports to get out and start the New Year doing what they love to do most, no matter the weather conditions. My brothers are quite the inspiration for this. They paddled in shorts and were covered head to toe in icicles, but it didn’t bother them. They had the most fun out of everybody! They are crazy, crazy in love with the sport of kayaking.

This New Year’s Day paddle was so much fun! Like every time I paddle, it is always worth it, even when you have to defrost in the car for an hour before you can take your gear off.

So my 2019 resolution is this: Don’t let anything stop you. What’s yours?

-Kady Kellogg