All posts by

Kristin Stickels

Last year, the Kalispell Convention & Visitor’s Bureau had excellent plans for the 6th annual Montana Dragon Boat Festival in Lakeside which was to be held in September. They had carefully prepared everything, even down to every last detail and had an exciting event in store for dragon boaters. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. Severe forest fires in the area caused unhealthy air conditions, which forced the organizers to cancel the festival. At the time the decision was made, air quality was categorized as “very unhealthy” by the Montana Department

As adults, we often find it difficult to ask for help or clarification when we don’t understand something. We are reluctant to appear weak or ignorant, and we are frequently intimidated by the very people we should be requesting assistance from. There is something frightening about asking for help from those who are better than us. We tend to put people up on a pedestal and perceive them as more important than ourselves, making it nearly impossible to request any assistance. All too often I have seen paddlers who need

Have you considered attending a dragon boat camp, but are unsure of whether you are up to the challenge of 5-6 straight days of paddling? Do you wonder what is involved in a camp that is so singularly focused on paddling? Have you inquired about a camp, but are nervous not knowing anyone who might attend? In this post, I’ve outlined a typical week at one of the camps I coached at the past two years in order to give you an idea what a dragon boat camp is all about. Keep in mind that

It’s that time of year again! The time when your family or loved ones ask that difficult-to-answer question: “What do you want for _____________ (fill in your preferred holiday here)?” As paddlers, we don’t go after the typical gifts. Who wants a new sweater when we may need a new paddle, right? So, I’ve created a list of some of my favorite holiday gifts for paddlers. Happy Holidays! 1) LockRacks I first saw these racks in San Diego a few weeks ago and I fell in love with them! I

When two online sources of paddling excitement meet, one of two things can happen. 1) They can compete for the same audience; or 2) They can unite and create something really special…together. And for those who know the energy of Paddlechica and Cali Paddler, it will come as no surprise that they chose the latter. Starting in November 2017, you will start to see some awesome authoring from each added to the other’s websites. Exposing more folks to the articles and excitement each website has created for the paddling community.

  This was my first full year training in a location that actually has seasons and, therefore, a true training cycle. I’m sure that sounds funny to most of you, but I began my paddling career in Miami. It’s a place where there are essentially two seasons: “really hot” and “even hotter”. There, we spent the whole year on the water and never thought twice about it. Now that I am living in a city with actual seasons which limit our on-water time, I see how beneficial it is to

I’m sure it’s happened to you. You’re on track with your training, you’re all set on your path and for some reason, you end up completely off the course that you thought you’d be on. They say “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” yet that is a tough pill to swallow when you are experiencing some type of obstacle in your training. As athletes, we typically view setbacks negatively because they can cause anxiety, depression, frustration, and even a loss of confidence and motivation. Setbacks can be discouraging,

In the middle of a recent training session I started thinking about how many parts of my body were hurting. I let my mind wander and it became my worst enemy. I started questioning why in the heck I put myself through the hour-long torture session we affectionately call “training,” especially at 5:45 in the morning. My mind started to take over and sadly I willingly let it. The truth is, paddling is a mental game. Obviously technique is important, and you can’t neglect the physical strength and proficiency needed

We train hard. We go to practice. We remain focused. We set goals. We work hard to achieve them. Yet inevitably there are things standing in our way, preventing us from improving at the rate we would like to. All too often, we focus on the things we think we need, rather than things we need to get rid of. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at things to eliminate in our life in order to see the improvements we so desperately desire. Here is a list of 10 things to

We all love pictures of ourselves paddling. A day or two after a race, most paddlers can likely be found scanning Facebook or Instagram for pictures of their team and hoping that they were captured in the awesome action shots. We are grateful for photographers like Ed Nguyen, Anne Zeng, Didi Fisher Weinreb, Jeff Holobushen, and many more who take fabulous pics at the regattas and share them online for us to see. And we all desperately hope there will be at least one epic shot where it looks like

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