Paddle Diva’s inspirational woman this month is a certified waterwoman and one of the biggest advocates for the sport of Stand Up Paddling. Meet Kristin Thomas: mom, businesswoman and SUP racer.
I first met Kristin years ago at at Surf Expo as I wandered from booth to booth. She and I immediately connected, exchanged contact info, and from there I have always found her to be one of my beacons in the SUP industry! She’s very mature in what is still a young industry, and her female voice and leadership is something we all can learn from. She has had a similar background to many of us waterwomen and is an accomplished swimmer, windsurfer (a sport near and dear to me) and surfer! What I like about Kristin is that she is also a racer and has the nicest energy out on the water and does not act like winning the race is so important to her — you can tell she loves the “ride” more than the prize!
This Friday I want to inspire and motivate you to get ready for Spring by showing you some great photos of five women I sincerely admire and love — and who all love stand up paddling! All of us SUP because we love it, we see the benefits, and most importantly because it is a great way to feel free and empowered out on the water!
Here are my Fantastic Friday Five Female SUP’ers who are making a difference and a few words as to why:
- Susan Rockefeller: Ocean Conservation and love of the environment
- Mary Scheerer: For her passion and dedication to racing
- Kristin Thomas: Founder of the first SUP trade association and member of the World Paddle Association’s Advisory Board
- Bethenny Frankel: She is ‘game’ when it comes to SUP and empowering so many women to be strong.
- Emma Bradley: For being a leader amongst her friends and holding the future of the sport in her hands through her love of it!
Shari Hymes has been chosen as Paddle Diva’s Inspirational Women of the Month! I’m sure many of you who know Sari is saying, “Well, it’s about time!”
If you’ve have had the good fortune to meet Shari, you will immediately want to spend the entire day with her and then want to see her again the next day! Shari’s energy is infectious and she’s been with Paddle Diva since our inception. Shari is a leader for us all and helped to create and leads our adventure paddles and is one of our top fitness paddle instructors.
Turning girls who normally sit on the sidelines into flourishing, confident and happy athletes is what makes Theresa Roden our Inspirational Woman this month.
Theresa founded the I-Tri program after her own experience of being transformed through triathlon. Although she never considered herself athletic (she despised gym class throughout her school career) at age 35 she decided to complete the Block Island Triathlon.
As I began to train I discovered so much about myself, each week I became stronger and faster and more confident. I came to realize that real training is as much an internal process as it is a physical one–and I crossed that finish line a totally different person! I finally liked myself and appreciated my body for its accomplishments instead of constantly criticizing it for not being a certain shape and size. If I had learned all of this when I was 12 instead of 35, what a different experience I would have had in life.
There is a woman in my town that I see all the time, year round, along our roads and beaches. She’s tuned into her iPod and she dances, spins, twirls and sings — often opera and often quite loudly! But she’s not insane. Though her methods might be slightly eyebrow-raising, I think she’s smart — and she’s fit! I’ve watched her body morph over the last year as she performs these solo shows as her daily exercise routine.
I have always subscribed to the notion that fitness should not be work– it has to be something you love so that it does not feel like drudgery. Having a positive attitude and a true passion for whatever form of exercise or fitness you choose, makes the workout even more effective! I know that it’s often hard to find something you love to do, but sometimes just an “attitude shift” can make all the difference! So next time you find yourself hating that hard setting on your spin bike, or cursing as you climb up a hill on a bike or in your running shoes, embrace it, tell yourself you L-O-V-E this and you will find the rest all falls into place!
We can all take a lesson from the woman I see every morning. She’s doing what she LOVES and the fitness follows. And of course she does not care what the outside world perceives about her….I love that!