It’s 2 am. I am wearily waiting in line at JFK to enter back into US and head home to my bed after a 10-day surf/adventure trip through Peru. As I approach the security counter, I’m ready for the usual interrogation and the dreaded question, “What do you do for a living?” Typically a subject I try to avoid, I respond, “well… that’s a tough one!”
I had four part time jobs, all of which helped me with my material necessities, but none that I was honestly passionate about. After four years of college and four years of job-hopping I was sick of trying to fit the mold. What did I do for a living? I decided it was time for me to follow my heart and do what makes me happy. With help from supportive siblings and friends, I was encouraged to seek out companies, businesses, or individuals that share the same beliefs, passions, and energetic lifestyle that I do.
Happily, this quest led me straight to a successful, self-made, businesswoman: fitness guru, eco-conscious, Gina Bradley. I sent a simple (yet genuine) email introducing myself, and soon received a phone call back, followed by an interview in the home of the Paddle Diva herself! Power buns intact and Haviana flip-flops on her feet, Gina and I split an avocado and some veggie chips as we chatted at her kitchen table. She told me about the early days of Paddle Diva when it was just her and her pick-up truck with a few custom SUP boards in back. I knew I had come to the right place after discovering we both are UVM alumni’s, maintain active healthy lifestyles, especially out on the water, and love a good reusable bag. We got a good laugh when we realized we both use recyclable shopping bags as purses!
I had some experience teaching stand up paddling last summer, thoroughly enjoying that my work attire was a bathing suit, sun block, and a pair of Ray Bans. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is easy to learn (which made it fairly easy to teach) and I was continuously surrounded by the beautiful natural environment. It’s a sociable sport and a great workout — what more can you ask for? Nevertheless, Gina takes SUP one step further, and this year I’m going to learn what REALLY makes a great SUP instructor!
Paddle Diva embraces the SUP culture and lifestyle that comes along with the sport and is striving to become entirely eco-friendly. Gina truly aspires to empower, challenge, and encourage women through stand up paddle boarding. Working with Paddle Diva is pure, real, and inspiring on so many levels.
Looking down to find an avocado pit and two empty water glasses on the Bradley’s kitchen table, we began discussing my goals, passion, and my upcoming roles at Paddle Diva. Excited for the season to really get underway, I have been working with Gina these last few weeks to get the new Paddle Diva SUP Center up and running, assisting with marketing efforts, and practicing my paddle as the summer quickly approaches.
Me, Kat Robson, Paddle Diva’s newest team rider, can confidently say she works for a pretty awesome Stand Up Paddle board company! Who knows where this journey will take me but I am going to enjoy it with every step of the way and each stroke of the paddle!
Kat Robson is Paddle Diva’s newest team rider. From mud runs to marathons, Kat is always going the extra mile, literally! Stay posted for more of Kat’s adventures from Beech Street to Three Mile Harbor Rd as she shares her journey to the East End with us. Discover all the great local shops, restaurants, and people she meets along the way!