3 Things I Ask Myself to Recover from Disappointment

I’ve been wedged underneath rocks in the river, been trashed in the impact zone in the surf, and as a solopreneur, wondered how I was going to pay my bills. You know, that feeling of being crushed by doubt, fear or things not working out the way you’d hoped? Whitewater kayaking has been a phenomenal teacher for me in learning how to make big comebacks. How to not let one incident send me into a downward spiral. Like the one time I got stuck in a hydraulic, swam out of my kayak, bawled my eyes out, then got back in 

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Someday or Day One?

When you schedule time on your calendar how often do you pencil in activities on Someday? Never heard of Someday being on the calendar? That’s because Someday doesn’t exist in reality. There’s a saying that goes: “There are 7 days in a week and Someday isn’t one of them.” Saying you’ll do something Someday is saying that what you want is just a pipe dream. As uninspiring as this is, it’s also easy and doesn’t involve risk. On the other hand, taking steps towards what you really want feels scary, risky and hard. I get it. I’ve been there over 

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Why YOU Matter

Have you ever gotten down on yourself thinking that nothing you do or say really matters? Somehow, women especially, are good at finding evidence for how small and insignificant we are. This is especially true when we compare ourselves to others. Our minds latch on to the story we’re telling ourselves about how much better so and so is, and the downward spiral begins. Last week I went to see US Soccer champion and author, Abby Wambach, speak. She has two Olympic gold medals, 4 World Cup Titles and holds the record for highest number of international goals scored in 

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4 Steps to Finding Your Paddling Tribe

Are you struggling to find a group of fun, supportive paddling partners? Finding a paddling tribe is key to enjoying the sport for the long term. It’s fun to go out on your own (especially SUP), but that can get old after awhile. Connecting with other like-minded women who share a similar passion is uplifting and inspiring. If you’re like me, you want paddling buddies who lift you up and support you in your goals, from paddling something new and challenging, to just having fun and getting outside. Here are my top 4 steps for finding your paddling tribe. Join 

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Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Mountains

“A perfect weekend with an incredible teacher. Thank you for your patience, guidance and laughter Anna Levesque!” – Jen B, Asheville “I am hooked and can’t wait to SUP again! Thank you Anna for such a lovely experience.” – Paula, WV “I couldn’t ask for a better experience.” – Kellie, Nashville I’ll just let those testimonials speak for themselves. It was a great weekend full of yoga, community, relaxation, paddling and fun! Paula was concerned about her balance on the first morning, feeling wobbly on the board as we learned basic strokes and concepts on the lake. Her legs were shaking and 

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Women’s Paddlefest 2018

Thank you to those of you who attended Women’s Paddlefest at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and raised close to $3000.00 for charity! High water, mudslides and rain days before the event didn’t stop you from joining in community, empowering yourselves and having fun. Instead of canceling we went ahead with the event modifying programming to Lake Fontana and the Nantahala, and consolidating the event to one day. We had 30 women on the lake and Anne Sontheimer from the NOC and I split the group and gave instruction on strokes and edge control/rolling. At the end of the lake session 

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Simple Reminders

It’s Sunday morning in January in McCall, Idaho, and I’m kicking away at the snowbank alongside my yurt in an effort to excavate my creek boat from where it’s been wintering underneath. My hands are already frozen from attaching my kayak stackers to my roof rack in the bitter cold, and now my toes are freezing too. “Why did I agree to this?” I mutter to myself as I tug on the grab loop of my Mamba while continuing to kick out a big enough opening to wrangle it through. In flurry of ice shards, she finally breaks free and 

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How to Build Emotional Resilience on the Water

According to the dictionary, resilience is defined as, ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.’ A second definition is: ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape.’ When you experience a difficult, disappointing or scary situation on the water how quickly do you recover? Are you able to let it roll off your back and feel empowered to paddle on? No matter your answer, know that you can increase your resilience with practice. In the past, when I performed poorly in a competition or got trashed on a river and swam out of my kayak I 

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Why You Should Take an International Paddling Trip

A really smart woman once told me I didn’t need a drysuit when I could just boat where it’s warm enough not to wear one. Inspired by this approach to winter boating, I booked my first international kayaking trip to Mexico and have been traveling ever since. Although it’s not quite drysuit season yet and the warm weather has me wondering if I’m ever going to need my drysuit again, fall is always a time when I start dreaming about my next big adventure, preferably to a more tropical location. You don’t have to be an expert boater to enjoy 

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The River, my Old Friend

Mind Body Paddle recently re-posted the very first blog post I wrote at Anna’s request—the story of how I became a kayak instructor, written before I actually started instructing.  Written before I ever knew that I would end up working for Girls at Play/Mind Body Paddle. I was in high school, writing about this dream I had of guiding people down the river. I was signed up to teach kayaking on the Wolf River in Wisconsin that upcoming summer, despite my status as a novice boater. I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I was 

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Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on paddling instruction for women and yoga for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor, instructor, coach and author has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF.

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Testimonials

"Anna is clear and concise and knows her stuff." - Instructor Candidate Evaluation, AZ

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