My first paddle was at age 3…I blew away down the lake and had to be rescued. So I decided to take up gymnastics instead. Then I grew and grew until I accepted that my Olympic dreams wouldn’t be realized as a gymnast, so I began paddling again, copying my older sister who was a pretty great paddler herself at the time.
As a bit of a late starter, it took me a long time to see much success but I always knew I had what it takes to go the distance, so I kept chugging along for 7 slightly frustrating years until I made my first team. From there things started to look up. I won 4 medals on my first international tour, and earned a position on the Senior National Team the following year.
I have been a member of the Canadian National Team since 2007, and during this time have won 5 World Cup medals, multiple National titles and my (so far!) career highlight, a bronze medal in the K1 4 x 200m relay at the 2009 World Championships, in front of a home crowd in Dartmouth, NS.
In 2011, the year of Olympic Qualifications, my K4 crew came close…but not close enough to qualifying for the London Games in 2012. After three years together working towards this goal, we were terribly upset. Feeling a little free for time though, my husband and I decided that it was a good time to have our first baby. The timing was perfect for me to miss as little training as possible and still have lots of time to get mega-fast leading up to the next Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
Training as a new mom is definitely not easy, but my comeback is going extremely well. I’m well on my way to achieving my life goal of racing for Canada at the Olympics. I also hope to lead by example and be an inspiration for other female athletes who struggle to accept the idea that motherhood and athletic careers don’t mix. But while training costs are always a challenge, there are quite a few added costs to training with a baby, especially while she is too young to be left at home while I am away for training camps. I’ve lined up some pretty sweet givebacks, and would love to have your donations, but also your support rallying behind me on my Olympic journey.
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K1 from the 2009 World Championships![/caption]