It is slowly becoming more openly discussed. What once was in the shadows is being brought to the light.
My hope is one day having support for mental health is looked at as having a personal trainer for your mind. Initially, paddling down The Athabasca River from Jasper to Athabasca, AB was just that. A paddler pushing personal boundaries and exploring waterways. Sometimes we have to speak up before we stand up and paddle away. That is why partnering with the following organizations regarding mental health is so important.
Please check out the following:
Project All In
Center For Suicide Prevention
The goal is simple enough. Raise $1 per kilometer paddled: $650 total. (Update: this has been easily surpassed). Intrinsically they’re all tied to the same context but each has a different story and path to follow.
The end game is the same. Stop the stigma, ease suffering and create conversation instead of silence. So, as I paddle the river on long physically and mentally exhausting days, I understand that I am choosing to inflict this on myself. Not everyone gets that choice. Many people live trapped in their own minds, unable to walk away from the pain.
For those people I paddle, bring light to the dark and stand up for!
Please join me virtually as I paddle and share your #riverofhopepaddle pics and stories too!
Follow me @lovensup and @reta.sends on Instagram August 10-20th, anywhere from 25-91 km distances down the river each day. There’s some amazing stories and coincidences to come out even before the paddle begins.
I like to think about instructor PEDIGREE. Where did they get their training and experience from? Who were or are their coaches and instructors? Training. Certifications. Competitive backgrounds or paddling career highlights. And again look for that matchup with your interests.
And then there is the all encompassing EXPERIENCE. Paddling experience is one thing. Instructing, guiding and coaching experience are quite another. Look for both - but especially the latter. I have seen some great paddlers who are poor instructors and coaches.
One final word. Don’t fall for marketing hype. Claims about being “the best” or whatever, abound out there. Let the pedigree and experience of the company and instructors speak for itself.
Reviews and testimonials are definitely something to look for.
Hope that helps when you are trying to find or decide on a great instructor.
Paddle Canada River 1 and 2 Instructor Trainer
Coach and Mentor to CANRVRSUP's
Head Instructor Reta Boychuk
If you feel you have the skills, only then are you ready for instructor training and certification. Few if any self taught paddlers have the skills or knowledge to effectively or safely instruct and guide. Instructor training and certifications hone your skills, teach you how to teach, and perhaps most importantly subject you to the review and evaluation of some of the most experienced instructors out there. If you are scared of subjecting yourself to the scrutiny of an instructor course, if your ego can’t take it, then you are just simply not ready to be an instructor.
And lastly - becoming a great instructor requires humility and compassion. Instructing isn’t about you. I look at instructing and guiding as a great privilege and responsibility. You are helping people achieve their goals and live out their dreams. If you are in it to ‘be’ an instructor, to ‘be’ a leader then you are in it for the wrong reasons.
To me that’s what it takes to be a great guide and instructor.
Paddle Canada River 1 and 2 Instructor Trainer
Coach and Mentor to CANRVRSUP's Head Instructor Reta Boychuk
Flatwater is the launching point for novices interested in stand up paddle boarding. Learn about proper SUP equipment and safety gear. Find your feet, fine tune your stroke, and perfect your pivot turns through one of our comprehensive Basic SUP and Advance Flatwater clinics.
Progress into your potential. Our collective aims to empower you to discover the river in a safe manner. We can help you broaden your own personal understanding of paddling and water hydrology as it relates to river environments.
Explore your boundaries. Join an enthusiastic and welcoming community of stand up paddle boarders on a guided trip. Let us help you plan a self-guided adventure. Or challenge yourself by becoming a certified instructor and share the stoke with new people. The options are limitless.
Check out our upcoming webinars demonstrating form and progressions. This interactive series will be developed with the whitewater paddler in mind.
CANRVRSUP = Unparalleled excellence in all aspects of stand up paddle boarding.
Contact Us Today! Let us help you find your feet on the water.
Lisa Stocking and Reta Boychuk