Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hawaii- Aloha!

The best way to recover from injury is to relax and chillout on the beach, so that is exactly what I have been doing! I was really fortunate that my Mum was heading to a Midwifery conference in Hawaii last week and I managed to pick up a cheap return ticket to Honolulu. With beautiful days on the beach under the sun, snorkling and swimming I was totally stoked to be in such a positive environment with my Mother. It is always hard being on the road for so long and getting to see my Mum was a real privilege. 
I have been running most days and movement in my shoulder is coming along really nicely. Thanks to my friend Roweena Speed who is a physio back in New Zealand I feel like the recovery of my shoulder is well on track and I feel really motivated to get it sorted. For now I am back staying at Shanes place in Hendersonville, ready to watch the showdown on the Green river this weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My sister the rockstar..

Turns out my sister is a badass rockstar as well as snowboarder, kayaker and surfer! Check it out! Love the PBR hat and wild turkey!
Big Thanks to James Simpson for helping make this happen, I am super stoked!

Ashville, NC

It has now been 2weeks since I broke my scapular. My attitude towards being injured has changed a lot in this time, I am now carrying a much more positive outlook. I saw the Orthopaedic specialist again and he confirmed that my range of movement has already improved a lot and that I am well on the way to a speedy recovery. My good friend Roweena Speed who used to rip up on the water back in New Zealand has also been giving me feedback on what I can do for rehab as she is a physio. The brake is stable and at the top of the blade so should take around 6weeks to heal, this means I will be good to go on challenging white water by mid-November. So I decided to carry on with my time here in the South East, I will be able to help with race support and chillout with all of my friends that are here. It is actually a super sweet place to be even without kayaking as there are so many good people around and a lot of good places to go hiking. I have invested in a camera and am trying to put a bit of time into learning how to use it well so I can take pictures of all of my friends on the river. Big thanks to all the locals for taking me on hikes, it has been a super sweet week here(Esp. Mark Miller, Issac, Scotty and Stephen) and to Pat for letting me stay this week well Katrina has been away. I even got to see a bear on one of the hikes this week! I am now back into running this and left handed table tennis, I want to stay as fit as possible, that way I will be ready to charge when my brake is all healed. Mentally I am back in the game and determined to stay in good physical shape so that I can have the best come back. I have always believed that if you fall or get pushed down it is a good chance to stop and think and this can be very empowering. It is time to come back stronger and better than before. As many have said, ‘its not about how you fall that matters, what matters is how you get back up’.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Human Error- Gorilla

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Everyone makes mistakes every now and then. Whether its forgetting things, dropping a glass or even misjudging a situation.
On Tuesday the 9th of September I was pretty pumped for my 6th lap of the green (2nd lap at 100%). There were a lot of people on the river this day, we had a super solid crew. I did a few walk backs on some of the top sections as I was feeling good. I had finally figured out pretty much all of the lines up the top and felt confident with them. I even nailed ‘go left’, although it still scared me a little bit. Then upon reaching the top of Gorilla I started to feel pretty nervous. Everyone was rallying off it and I figured I should probably join suit and do the same. Last time I ran it had been so sweet and the line had felt pretty good to go. So I started off the top drops which went okay, not great but okay. Then I suddenly got quite nervous and was just not sure of the line through the notch...I was trying to remember what I had done the previous time..but it was too late. I caught my paddle somewhere in the notch and power flipped. I only had my paddle with 1 hand and then by the time I got it back I was on the edge of ‘Gorilla’ drop. I nearly got up...but not quite. So down I went, swallowed and destroyed by the rapids and rocks that lay beneath. I fell onto pretty hard rock but it seemed I had so much adrenalin I did not feel much pain. Katrina was waiting in the eddy for me and as I floated in I came out through the hole in my spraydeck (It was maybe a little bit too big for me). I was pretty out of it and felt really ill. I thought I was going to faint or throw up but I managed to pull myself together. I was pulled up onto the side and fortunately there was a few people around to help me out. Big thanks to Adrienne Levknecht, Katrina Van Wijk, John Grace and the many others that were on the scene and helped me walk out of the gorge. I was taken to the hospital and checked over and when the xray results came back the Dr. Diagnosed a fracture on my scapular. I was pretty drugged up in the hospital so was feeling pretty positive and not too bad about the whole thing. But when I got home that night the realisation of what had happened hit me.
It takes a lot of force and a hard hit to break the scapular so my body was in quite a bit of shock. But for me, I know my body will heal. The fortunate thing about bone injuries is that they heal back to 100% in 6-8weeks. The harder part in my mind is the fact that I let this happen, I messed up and made the mistake which led to this accident. I should have got out of my boat and scouted the rapid again, taken it more seriously and been sure of my line. Any new river I have paddled this year I have given full respect to and always made sure I charge my lines, because I know you have to. What scares me is that I messed up the other day. Something in my brain was not working or making me stop and think about what I was doing, I was not sure of the line and I still went. Human error maybe but this is something I could have avoided. I know I could have because I owned that rapid just a couple of days earlier. It was not a question of could I do it or not, I had already done it well. Just mentally I was not strong and this reflected in my pathetic strokes and hesitation. My confidence in my ability is low right now and I feel super gutted. Kayaking class 4/5 requires confidence and I feel like I let myself down the other day.
In 4-6weeks I should be moving towards getting back in a boat on mellow water but it is going to take a lot of mental rehab to bring my mind back to believing that I can paddle. Like I said at the start, everyone makes mistakes at some point, but in class 4/5 mistakes can cost a lot more than a glass of spilt milk. I really want to focus on mental training in the next few weeks, I believe this is a weakness for me and now is the time for me to try to strengthen this.
Thanks to everyone for the support and messages, the positivity helps a lot. Especially thanks to Shane Benedict and Katrina Van Wijk. Katrina continues to be soo supportive and she also continues to charge hard out on the water. She is a beautiful paddler and has been putting everything into it, its inspiring for me and gives me motivation to heal fast so I can join her out on the water soon!
Photo credit: Gregg Knicker

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Green Race!

I thought I would put up a video of the Green Race so that those of you that have not yet been too the Green can get an idea of what it is about, check it out:

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Green River Narrows!

After another good week hanging out in Fayetteville Katrina and I cruised down to North Carolina to come to rest in Hendersonville. We are staying here at Shane Benedicts house, and we are totally stoked to be here! Big Thanks to Shane for having us. When we first arrived we went straight to the Green River Narrows and busted out a lap, big thanks to Chris G and little ripper Hunt Jennings for showing us the smoothest lines! The river was flowing at 200% so was at a nice juicy level for my first descent. snuck the line at go left and did not run Gorilla as it was looking pretty rowdy! Chris, Hunt and Dave Fusilli killed the line on Gorilla! I The rest of the run was super fun though. The next day was my birthday so we celebrated with 2 more laps down the river at 200% and then hit the bars in Ashville with some of the local dudes including Mark Miller, Jon, Dave and many others- a sweet night out for sure! Cheers guys:)
Yesterday I had my first run down the Green at 100% and was lucky enough to paddle with Adrienne L, the local lady that kills it! I walked Gorilla as I wanted to give it a good scout before running it. A very intimidating rapid! Then today Katrina and I paddled down with a dude named Bow and I fired up all of the big 3 to complete a full run of the Green River Narrows! 'Go Left' was all good and I think I got really lucky with my line on Gorilla as I somehow styled it, stoked!
Anyway we are continuing to have a good time here at the Green.
Here are some photos of Gorilla and a good night out with our friends Dave and Erin. Tits Deep is Katrina and my newest project. It is basically focused on Laides who are charging in Extreme Sports. These chicks are considered Tits Deep.
We bring the most substantial amount of sexy, style, and ease into everything we do. We are trying to encourage women to go hard in extreme sports. If you support this movement it would be totally awesome if you could hit like on our facebook 'Tits Deep' page. We are not just aiming at recognising extreme kayakers but other extreme sports athletes too.