"I was hooked on kayaking....I just hadn't realized it yet!" by Robin Reynolds

When I came across a meet-up group for kayaking, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was just days out of a marriage and my life was still mostly packed into boxes. I was untethered, uncertain, and seeking change in my life. I attended the Sandia Paddle & Film Festival extravaganza later that evening and although I hadn’t really met anyone yet, and I’d only kayaked for a very short time on the lake, I was already hooked. I just hadn’t realized it yet.

It was a rush to get there after work, but I began attending Wednesday evening “Open House” paddling events at Sandia Lakes and found myself looking forward to them for days. My time on the lake developed into so many things. Sometimes, it was placid and beautiful – the perfect ending to a hectic day. Other evenings developed into informal kayaking lessons, stroke practice, and best of all, ultimate Frisbee from kayaks. I hadn’t yet made the decision to try whitewater kayaking and in fact, I hadn’t put-in at the Rio Grande yet but already kayaking was slowly but surely changing me from the inside out.

When I’d first began, I had envisioned it as a way to get outdoors, meet new people, and get more physically active. What actually happened was much more profound. I found that I was more courageous than I knew. I developed a deep appreciation for the beauty and power of the incredible natural world in which we live. I began seeing the Southwest from a whole new perspective, from the water. It was freeing somehow. On the water, all the pressure and stress of daily life melts away and you’re awestruck and grateful.

Best of all, each time I attended an event, I met wonderful like-minded people. These were people who took the time to introduce themselves and were interested in how I was doing. Those with more experience were always eager to share tips and pleased to reassure me when I struggled with new skills. They were encouraging and open. It seemed that we all had something in common; we were seeking change or movement in our lives in a positive direction. We were trying to find our best selves.

                I attended New Mexico Kayak Instructions white water classes and realized that these classes are about much more than just the mechanics of paddling and navigating the river. To be sure, Kelly Gossett and his carefully chosen instructors know their stuff and are the best in the business, but at the core of what they teach are bigger things. Things like self-reliance, integrity, and strength.   Attending a weekend whitewater class is at its heart a team building and personal growth experience. Take my word for it, you will come away a better person than when you arrived. I have been honored by the friendship and power I’ve found through kayaking and I can’t think of a better way to spend evenings and weekends. I can’t wait for spring!

 

Robin Reynolds

www.robin-reynolds.com

 

Upcoming Kayak Instruction Classes

Title Date City Name
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
Title Date City Name
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
Title Date City Name
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, July 28, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, July 29, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, August 26, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
Currently there are no Advanced Whitewater clinics scheduled. Please see our Calendar of Events for upcoming Intro, Roll, Whitewater and Touring clinics, or Contact Us for a private lesson.
Title Date City Name
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area