Read one paddler’s perspective on using the voice of standup paddling to initiate positive change and speak up for our environment. Video by Red Vault Productions.
A New Perspective – Standup paddling gives us an intimate glimpse into nature
Year’s ago, when I was just beginning to realize how much standup paddling meant to me and began to see a small rise in my success as a standup paddle athlete here in the Hamptons, NY a friend of mine said to me,
“Evelyn, you’re being given an opportunity here. You’re becoming a voice in your community. You have to decide what you are going to do with that voice. You have to decide how you’re going to use it to benefit all.”
I’ll never forget that conversation over a cup of coffee in the local General Store. Bill’s words hit me like a sword. I didn’t know what he meant (yet), but I knew I had just received a great pearl of wisdom.
“What do I Stand For?”
Years later, as my modicum of success as a paddle athlete continued to grow and my small business coaching paddlers in a variety of conditions and venues took off, I thought about Bill’s words. ‘What did I stand for?’
The answer took about 30 seconds to come, as I helped a client retrieve her board out of the water and we both looked back one more time over the expanse of the bay, that big, blue expanse of water and I felt my heart melt. ‘That’, I knew, was what I wanted to stand for: nurturing & protecting what I loved most, the water.
Standup paddlers see changes in health of ecosystems
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to speak for the environment, specifically clean water initiatives here on the East End of Long Island. I’ve seen a lot out there when I’m paddling. I’ve been witness to the decay of some beautiful places and – thankfully – the restoration of water systems that, at one time, were unhealthy.
So, yes, I paddle. But, I don’t just paddle. I bear witness. I pay attention. I LOOK at the beauty that surrounds me every day and I take its temperature. I love it. And I want to protect it. You do too if you spend enough time out there.
Building a platform to initiate change: Standup for the Environment
Here, at Standup Journal online, we are starting a new platform to champion, celebrate and collaborate in ways that we, as paddlers, can take a stand – Standup for the Environment. We hope you come on board, think about ways that YOU can participate in the care of our watery planet and ways in which we can network to support EACH OTHER in that effort.
We’ve created an online FORUM where paddlers can talk about the Environment, about Safety and about Women Issues in Paddleboarding. We invite you all to participate and lend YOUR voice to the ongoing effort to become advocates for positive change. We rise together, when we come together.
To participate in our FORUM, you need to register with the website. The link is in the UPPER RIGHT corner of our home page. Once you have registered, simply click on the FORUM link (lower left side, it’s a grey button) and pop into a conversation – or two, or three! – and lend your voice, as a paddler and as a person, to the dynamic platform we are building to be a voice of positivity and powerful change.
As one of my mentors said to me, “Partnership is the new leadership.”
Won’t you join us?