Paddling to Raise Awareness for Mental Health
Have you ever purchased something and immediately felt guilty afterwards?
I have. I know buyers remorse happens, but this was different, it was a big purchase.
I didn't regret the purchase because I couldn't afford it, I simply felt selfish.
There were people close to me that could've used that money to pay bills, for therapy because they were sick or to buy groceries because, that month, the mortgage was more important than eating.
That purchase? A Stand Up Paddle Board.
I was stoked to get back on the water. It was something that always helped ground my soul. It was my meditation. This purchase was as much for my mental health as it was to get me back on the water and reconnected with the rivers, but I still felt selfish. Within minutes of that purchase I sat down at a coffee shop and tried to figure out how to deal with this feeling. By my second americano, I realized I was sitting in the very spot where I had an influential conversation with a friend a few years prior. He was about to take his passion to the next level and help others in their quest for a healthier, grounded life. I didn't know it at the time, but that conversation was going to play over in my head and answer my questions that day. I now knew where I was headed with all this.
We need to help others - when we can, as much as we can.
In 2012, I set out on that very board and covered 300kms of Lake Diefenbaker and the South Saskatchewan River. Using social media & the board as a platform, my goal was to shed some light on mental illness, the stigma and the healing flow of the water. If I could get at least one person to stop and think about the people in their lives dealing with mental illness or have someone who suffers from one of the many types of mental monsters just realize they weren't alone, I'd be happy.
At the end of the 300kms, those goals had been realized and I realized how much the trip had affected me personally. It was time to share this trip with others.
Why We Do What We Do
In 2017 we were named 1 of 150 Difference Makers in the Mental Health community!
We Stand Up for Those too Weak to Speak.
There is hope for the hopeless &
There is help for the helpless...
If that were not so, I myself wouldn't be here today
- author unknown -
We are into our 6th year of self-supported Stand Up paddle expeditions, races and ocean crossings.
As you can see, the waves from all these paddle strokes are getting harder to ignore.
United collectively to make change. An undeniable statement of support.
You are not alone, not when you're a part of this crew.
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