Melanie Seiler Hames is the Executive Director at Active Southern West Virginia and a treasure to the people of the New River Gorge and surrounding area. Melanie brings Stand Up Paddle Boarding, and more importantly, good health to the people of West Virginia by having them take an active part in sports and recreation that is right in their back yard. Ms. Seiler, is also a very important leader who is improving the overall health quotient of West Virginia–a state heavily dependent on disappearing Coal Mining jobs, yet at the same time, one of the most beautiful places on earth ripe with economic opportunity in recreation. Hames
Mark Powell is another amazing person among us in the Stand Up Paddle Community. His Hurricane research on air-water mixing is notable and a significant contribution to the science he observed while flying aboard NOAA’s P3 Hurricane Hunter planes. Mark grew up on the water with his family and has competed in various watersports. He talks with us about his love and fascination of the water and weather and, recent entry into SUP racing. You can find my interview with Mark at the link below:
The family that plays together, stays together, and such is the case with Doc and Gloria Doolittle. They have raced together, sailed together, and now Stand Up Paddle together. Pull up a chair and stay awhile as they talk about SUP, racing, and raising millions of dollars for Children’s Hospital in Seattle. They emphasize the importance of stand up paddle boarding as a family sport and why it is especially suited for couples and in building new and important relationships. Doc is also a Cancer survivor and talks about how a positive attitude and bring you around to the other side.
Charles Webb is a disabled surfer and stand up paddle racer. But such a label does not accurately describe this incredible man. He only dwells on what he can do, not what he can’t. Join us for an inspirational discussion on the magic of the human spirit and Charles’ journey to SUP racing and Surfing. Charles also talks about accessibility of beaches to the disabled SUP and Surfing community.
James Van Drunen is the youngest person to ever complete the “SUP 11 City Tour” that meanders for 136 miles around Holland. We speak to James and his Father Conard, live in Holland in the middle of the race to hear about this tough event. Was James always such an incredible athlete? No. Four years ago, James was living a very sedentary life filled with unhealthy food and activities. His Father Conard and the rest of the family was there for him and set off a spark in James that now burns light a bright flame.
Will improved diet make me faster? Will I live longer? Can I improve every minute of my day? Yes! Yes! and Yes! Bruce Barry goes deep into our biological make-up and shows how important diet is to everything we do. His extensive explanation of the trillions upon trillions of cells in our bodies, all with a mind of their own and in full control, ask very little of us on our daily inputs of diet, sleep, and stress reduction. In fact, this unimaginable supercomputer asks so little of us in relation to the job it does.
Round the Rock 2016 tested the mettle of the heartiest stand up paddle racer-brining almost all competitors to their knees towards the end of the race. Winds up to 40 miles per hour and chest high waves demoralized the pack who came in shell-shocked and ashen colored. Once across the finish line, however, all knew they had raced their hardest race, and learned something about themselves they never knew before.
We also talk with Dan Eberhardt, the co-founder of “Round the Rock” who has been stoking the Pacific Northwest with this epic 13 mile race that is one of the oldest in the country and raises tens of thousands of dollars for Cancer research.
We end the story with some incredible live audio clips of shell-shocked racers coming across the finish line.
Jen Kjellsvik is an incredible water woman excelling in Stand Up Paddle Racing, Outrigger Canoe, and now Whitewater SUP! She’s been in the sport for the last eight years and her biggest accomplishment is getting children to love the water. Jen tells us about the incredible whitewater SUP community she has built there for the children of Bend, Oregon and some great tips on starting such a community in your own town. Jen also speaks about life and family balance in this epic sport as well as how her community is making a difference in keeping their rivers clean.