I was invited to participate in a collection of interviews for the Missouri River Paddler’s group on Facebook. Thanks to the organizer and legendary paddler Norm Miller for the opportunity. Here are my questions and answers 🙂
1: First memory in a canoe or kayak?
My first time solo in a kayak was in Tampa Florida. I had seen a place where you could rent kayaks and paddle across a small calm bay to the award winning Caladesi Island. I had a flight to catch and missed the opportunity, so it became my goal to get back to that spot. When I finally did get back, storms derailed my next attempt. Determined once again, I rented a car and drove there alone the next day. It was early in the morning and the bay was empty which did not help my open water phobia. Regardless I sat in that sit on top kayak and paddled hard to the giant sandy island. I hopped around sandbars and enjoyed the tip of the island. I wanted to paddle to the mangrove trail a longer distance away, I got halfway before the dark grassy abyss below scared me into turning around for clear sandy waters. I had images in my head of bumping into a harmless yet giant manatee. I did go back with a friend and paddled through those mangrove trails on a third visit to Tampa. I will be there yet again two weeks from this writing.
2: Whos your favorite band or musician?
I bought tickets to see an international band called Clean Bandit. They play string instruments, drums, sing, rap. It’s a neat mix of orchestra and club music.
3.Are you related to anyone famous or have any brush with fame?
There is a Raglan Castle in Wales most of my family has visited. It’s got a moat and is pretty impressive. I heard on my mothers side I have a great great uncle that was a German general…he worked for a really bad guy and was hung at Nuremberg. As for this generation, I’ve gotten to meet Tony Horton (P90X) and Shaun T (Insanity) from my work with Beachbody. Also I met all these cool famous people on a kayak trip once.
4: favorite Missouri River moment?
From just 12 days I have a million moments to choose from so this is hard. I’ll choose a solitary moment when I discovered my first white sandy beach on the outside of Hill’s Island. It felt like I had discovered paradise in Missouri. Shallow clear water, a wide flat beach lined with the trees of an island. I was amazed.
5: Strangest or most unique job you ever had?
I could list many….I tend to jump around when it comes to employment. I once worked at a theme park painting children’s faces in the kids barn (Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo)
6: Best piece of paddling advice that you have ever been given?
“Stay in the boat.” I was a competitive swimmer and learned that you can’t just swim your boat to shore. It must be paddled, regardless of how comfortable I feel in the water, the current is too strong.
7: Who or what are your biggest inspirations?
Entrepreneurs and travelers. I can’t accept a normal life, to a fault.