2016 in hindsight… – Looking back on an educational year

2016 was definitely a very interesting year for me. A year of seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing very new things. I also had the opportunity to experience old things in very new ways. Here is a recap of some of what the year brought me……..

 

 

 

Places

In January I travelled to New Zealand and managed to see many different parts of the country. Paddled the Kaituna for a week and managed to get one run on the Wairoa as well as some Maori Bay Surf Kayaking action.

March I found myself in Uganda for the African Freestyle Development Camp with Sam Ward and Dane Jackson. This was an absolute dream come true but unfortunately injury got the better of me.

July I attended the Ash river festival which happened to fall on my birthday. An awesome event held in the beautiful town of Clarens in South Africa

August found me back in Vic Falls in a new home for the rest of the year. This new home has given me the opportunity to host some awesome people, some old friends and some new ones as well as provide me with a great base for my work.

 

 

New Friends

Brittany Parker and Paul Teasdale
Brittany and I sharing a giggle on the Stand Up 4 Rhinos Project

This year has definitely been a year of building relationship. I have had the  honour and privilege of making so many new friends. Good people with good values and passion for life. Some I met through my travels, some through my work, some through RAW. I believe the most valuable thing one can invest in is relationships and this year I feel very very rich as a result. The kindness I have received from people this year cannot be described in words and I am very very grateful.

Minus Rapids
Nikki and Mija from Austria

Old Friends

As well as being blessed with so many new friends, this year has also been a tough teacher as far as knowing who ones true friends are. Life has dished out a couple of curve balls that have definitely sorted the “die hards” from the “fair weathers” and for this I am grateful. I don’t believe in treating these two “groups” any differently from each other, but it is useful to know in order to adjust my own expectations of these individuals and to be clear on who I can and cannot rely on. To those that have been there for me …Thank you for the support. Those that haven’t……Thank you for the lessons learned.

Paul Teasdale Fluid Anvil Chill
Myself, La, Si and Ndu

 

Highs

  • Stand Up Paddling the Zambezi rapids with Standup4rhinos

  • Attending the African Freestyle Development camp was a definite high.
  • Winning a place on the Dirt Bag Paddlers All Wallace Team
  • Finding an incredible place to live in Victoria Falls
  • Spending time with so many amazing people
  • Spending time on my beloved Zambezi river despite injury
  • Sharing my passion with the world and being able to live it daily

 

 

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The Stand Up 4 Rhinos Team. Pic by Chantelle Melzer

 

Lows

  • Injuring myself in Uganda
  • Almost dying from Malaria that I contracted in Uganda
  • Not being able to kayak at all this season as a result of my Injury
  • Not being able to train properly because of injury

 

Lessons Learned

2016 has been nothing if not a hard teacher. I see it in all the posts I see online. It seems this year kicked a lot of asses. So I thought it would have been a wasted ass kicking if I did not look for the lessons and use it as an opportunity to grow. So here are some of the lessons I learned………………

  1. You can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time… This is an obvious one but this year it really hit home to me. Trying to please everyone is a recipe for disaster. What is more important is to do what you think is right for the situation at hand. When you do it…do it with love.
  2. Other peoples’ opinion of me is none of my business…. This has been a difficult one to get my head around. People will be people and you can’t get along with everyone. The important thing however is to not let that change who you are. Every person sees the world from their own perspective and generates their own ideas and beliefs about the world around them as a result. They have their own battles to fight both internally and externally and it is these very battles that shape the way they interact with others. If they treat you with kindness….give them love. If they are unkind………Love them anyway.
  3. Healthy body, Healthy mind…. This has been a biggy this year. With the illness and injury and not being able to train I have slipped way off the wagon as far as my health is concerned an as a result my emotional state has also taken a knock. Next year once I am mended it will be back to my healthy lifestyle
  4. There is nothing more powerful than idea whose time has come….. I have seen this time and time again this year. In myself and my friends. Belief and determined focus can take you anywhere. You can be anything and do anything but it starts with an idea…..

 

Paul Teasdale Guvalala Pan Hwange
Sometime we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere……….and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, we find ourselves

 

Now it is time to say goodbye to 2016 and start to align myself with the dreams and aspirations I have set for 2017 and beyond. I hope that 2017 brings you all in alignment with what you truly desire and that the people and resources you require to make those dreams come true become available to you. Be open to new opportunities. Be open to help from others. Spread love to all you encounter and be the best possible you that you can be !

 

“What if being human was our greatest aspiration, Instead of our greatest excuse?” – Stephen D Norval

 

Happy New Year

One Love

 

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