When You Do What You Love, Love Is What You Do!



In our February Gear Giveaway we asked our newsletter readers to share their stories of moving through resistance they may encounter when doing what they love to do. The entries were thoughtful, passionate and contain some wonderful tips on getting past challenges that we all face to some degree. We’re sharing the entries here so that we can all remember that we’re not alone in our challenges/resistance and that we can be inspired by each other. Enjoy and congrats to Airin Harris for winning the Watershed Largo Tote!

“I love the River. And when I am on the river, I experience a kind of happiness that only happens on the rivers. But I had forgotten how important whitewater paddling had been to me. Before the children were born and elderly family members needed our help, I used to be on the rivers from spring to late fall and then slowly over the years, I lost the River. And returning to paddling has been both wonderful and painful. My resistance is about time, being loyal to family, do I still have my old skills, can I learn new skills and do I trust my abilities? And saying yes to whitewater paddling again, is saying yes to myself..again. (Plus I really need new gear)” — Sarah McEneany, WI

“I absolutely love doing all of my sports: climbing, yoga, biking, and, of course, kayaking…and eating healthy so that I am always performing the best that I can! People and time have always been the biggest resistances for me: people who say I can’t or shouldn’t do what I do for various reasons and finding enough time to fit my sports in around work, my boyfriend, friends, and planning and preparing healthy foods for myself. I’ve learned to not listen to the people who doubt me and to surround myself with people who encourage me. I also learned to PLAN! Planning ahead helps me avoid that dreaded line: ‘I’d love to do that!…I just don’t have enough time!’ — Shaina Sabatine, WA

“Doing what I love, spending time with my husband, family, and grandchildren. I love the outdoors, kayaking, hiking, swimming, camping, gardening and racing. I even still enjoy my work, (I’m getting older). The resistance is working night shifts and trying to juggle the sleep, but with lots of attention to my rest and taking good care of myself there is always time to enjoy!” –– Dianne McHenry

Resistance seems to be nagging me in the form of injuries. Patience with myself is what works best to combat the struggle to want to do more too quickly. Genuine acceptance of my present abilities seems to reduce resistance.” — Adrienne Inez, NC

“I am an artist and a kayaker. The biggest resistance I face always comes from myself. Whether I’m experimenting with a new piece in my studio or running a challenging rapid- I have to work hard to overcome that little voice that tells me, “You are not good enough. You cannot do this.” I work through it by using positive affirmation. I tell myself (out loud) that I can. Usually, its some form of, “You’ve got this. You’re awesome,” or, “You’re going to have a great time!” If I’m really meeting some hard resistance form myself, I acknowledge it and accept it, and use it to learn from. When I accept that something is out of my league I tell myself (again verbally) “Its okay. This a a goal now. You can do _____ . Let it go and come back.” Accepting that resistance from myself I feel is how I learn the most- and eventually how I accomplish the most. Thanks for reading!” — Angela Williamson, WA

“My passion – to be in the outdoors. And when I can’t be in the outdoors, I like to write about my experiences. As the mom to a one year old, the 7 pm bed time can prove challenging to spending time adventuring outdoors. One thing that has helped is reflecting on the time I do get to go outdoors by writing. I’m lucky enough to contribute articles to the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and hope what I write in turn motivates others to get outside!” — Ky Delaney, NC

“At the beginning of each year, I sit down and think about the things I want to try, learn or improve on & come up with a plan to do it 😀 Last year, I wanted to try kayaking, so I signed up for a GAP clinic to start. This year, I’m organizing roll clinics at my employer’s pool. This year, I want to improve my kayaking, plan a group backpack trip, hike and paint. My house my not be the cleanest, but I’m definitely having fun!” — Airin Harris, TN

“Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I get the jitters at the head of a Cl 3 or 4 rapid. I breathe, look for my line, believe the first statement and go. Usually it works and it allows me to keep trying and to keep improving.” — JoAnn Durdock, NH

“I work as a kayak instructor and international guide, and have done so now for 5 years. Being outside, on the water, and with wonderful people is what makes me the happiest. It was hard for me to stay true to that when I was talking with my family and friends outside of this circle… people with “real” jobs, masters degrees and PhDs, lawyers, published authors, etc. I thought I was going to be there with them at one point. The more I am able to share the magic of what I do with them, though, the more I am supported. I remember, though, that no matter how much support there was in the beginning, that I am proud of what I do and who I impact with my work, and that hasn’t changed since I started. My sister helps me to remember that, too!!” — Stefanie McArdle, Costa Rica/Canada

“Making time for myself is not always easy, but fortunately I am surrounded by friends who value fun and adventure over housework and I can be easily talked into kayaking, whittling, hiking, snowshoeing, learning to draw, or just about anything. I’m pretty sure you’ll never hear me say “wish I’d stayed home to do the dishes”! — Denise Hurt

“Especially as the spring comes rolling in, it feels awesome to spend some time in the sun. Spring is where I wax up my skis for the summer and grab the dry suit for the swelling rivers. It’s a time where I feel naturally motivated and energized. Nonetheless, there’s resistance from time to time such as skipping classes or perhaps a day that’s yet too cold. So, I’ve learned to enjoy life as it comes because it feels fantastic to wake up before the sun and shuttle to the nearest open river. The river flows and life goes on. Even if finals are approaching and river spray is freezing onto my PFD, those are the days that feel worth it to get out and see the sun.” — Hannah Fanney, WI

“I grew up on the water but didn’t start White water kayaking until 2010. My first experience with white water kayaking was when my ex-husband introduced me to the sport by putting me in a Jackson 2fun playboat on Class IV rapids. That experience has helped me in many many arenas of my life. I have to work even harder at kayaking because my anxiety and PTSD from the event are unpredictable. One day I’m completely comfortable in Class III water, the next in full panic mode on Class I. I am also a professional licensed therapist and school counselor and this experience has given me new insight into my clients’ who suffer from similar issues. I have to practice more then most people with out a near death experience, take more classes, deal with regression, and deal with judgment (especially from men) from others and myself. Despite all my obstacles and prior circumstances, I will not give up!!!” — Jennifer Lux, AZ

“Doing what I Love: Living in a beautiful, active state like Colorado can be a mixed blessing. Adventures are around every turn along with many other adventurous people. I love the colorado lifestyle–skiing, paddling, biking–but sometimes it can make me feel guilty about doing the other things I love–to be at home, to take a good long nap with my dog, to take an unadventurous walk in the neighborhood.” — April Lew, CO

“I am combatting resistance with my ability to roll, either my knee is injured, my back sore. Fear has taken over. To combat this I am doing strengthing excersises, concentrating on positivity. There is a pool session next week about 1 hour away, I know when I go I will get support on rolling. This rolling is a hugh thing for me. I really need to roll so I can do Wasuau release and have people to kayak with. I am constantly struggling finding paddlers to go with me. Sometimes I feel I am a class by myself. I also want pictures of rolling so I can put it right in front of me at work.” — Marianne McEville, WI


Need help moving through resistance and challenge? We can help! Join one of our whitewater clinics with yoga and learn to move through resistance and fear while building confidence and skills! CLICK HERE for more info.

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