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2019 has been a pretty awesome year for me. My paddling definitely took a turn and headed in a different direction, which I think has been for the better.

I started the year off with the goal in mind of keeping track of every day I was in a kayak or canoe and just writing down where I paddled. I’m pretty happy to be ending the year having paddled just over 100 days, which isn’t bad considering I’ve also got a job and I’m finishing up my last year of college. There were many more opportunities that I could have paddled this year and a dislocated shoulder in November definitely cut into more days in the boat, but I’m excited to shoot for the goal of spending half of the days in 2020 in my kayak.

In March, I went to the U.S. Freestyle Team Trials at Nantahala Outdoor Center. Although I didn’t make the team, it was definitely a big moment in my paddling career and gave me a lot of perspective on where I’m at mentally and skill-wise in terms of competition. I hope to attend some more freestyle events in 2020, hopefully some of them being out west.

This year also marked my sixth year at Zoar Outdoor, teaching kayaking and being part of the amazing team there. I feel so lucky to be able to work alongside such awesome people there and I can’t wait for what’s to come next year with them.
Much of my year was spent working with individuals in recovery from substance use disorders or mental health issues. As someone with anxiety and depression, it was really powerful for me to be able to combine my passion of kayaking and the outdoors with what really matters to me. I’m hoping to take this even further in 2020 and continue to show people how kayaking can be therapeutic and a really powerful path to recovery.

See you on the river!