This is Who I Am.
Camille Swan from david gillaspie on Vimeo.
This video started off as an idea to kick-start this blog and give my website (and athletic endeavors) meaning. I want to inspire people to get out and follow their passions.
I'm 24 years old. I graduated college. Got my personal training certification. Started a performance troupe. Trained with the circus. Got sponsored to paddleboard for Hala Gear. Won a couple SUP races. Moved to 5+ cities in the last 3 years, and have plans to move out of the country in a couple months.
And I still have no idea what I'm doing.
All I know is I have big dreams, and chasing them is all part of the fun.
Equestrian vaulting is hands-down THE most difficult sport I've ever done. It takes years and years of practice to be able to stand on a cantering horse, let alone do the basic compulsory exercises with a decent score (you should be stoked to get a score of 7.0 on any competitive vaulting maneuver). Think of it this way- I've been doing the SAME 7 moves on a horse for 16 years, striving for that perfect 10, and the highest score I've received was a 9.0 in my stand. Just a basic stand on the horse. Yeah, I can stand, but I have not been able to get that PERFECT stand. There's only a handful of vaulters that have ever received 10's on their compulsories, and not one single vaulter has EVER received 10's across the board.
But like I said, this sport has shaped me. I know that I can do hard things, and I'm all about a challenge. However, I gravitate more toward the performance aspect of vaulting. I love performing in front of crowds more than anything. It's more gratifying for me to share this sport with people, because literally about 0.5% of people I meet actually know that equestrian vaulting exists.
I see a lot of similarities in whitewater stand up paddleboarding. This niche of the sport is probably only around six years old. I was fortunate enough to hop on the WW SUP (whitewater stand up paddleboarding) train while it was still in its infant stages of growth. I have seen this sport change and evolve so much in just the short time I've entered the scene, and I am stoked to be an ambassador of it.
Whitewater stand up paddleboarding is a sport that makes a simple task, like running a rapid that kayakers or rafters could do on day one, waaaayy more difficult and humbling... and strange... and AWESOME, than necessary. But it's all part of the fun. And I must say that the learning curve for basic river SUP is relatively fast, so don't get intimidated!
Just like equestrian vaulting, you start at the basics. I did not start vaulting by jumping on a cantering horse and doing the tricks. I started on a short, fat little pony named Jelly Bean that patiently walked in a circle while I learned how to sit and properly fall off a horse (think being forced to do parkour rolls off of a horse, in the dirt, every time you dismounted. That was my first year of vaulting training. And I'm so grateful for the skill of falling without breaking myself!).
When learning how to whitewater SUP, you start with flat water skills. Then progress to moving water. Then class I rapids, class II, and so on. I would say, for every hour of river SUP I've done, I've probably done about three hours of flat water SUP.
My advice for anyone wanting to get into paddleboarding - it's to take your SUP everywhere. Take it to the pool. To the lake. To the puddles. Where ever. And just practice moving around on it. Encourage people to try and push you off your board. Practice falling off safely. When you understand how your board moves and your body learns how to compensate and synchronize with the board, then you will become one with your board, and magic will ensue.
Thanks for reading my blog, and please keep up with my future posts :) I have a list of blog topics I would like to write about, each involving something related to paddle fitness, tips, or life ponderings. I encourage you to subscribe and share with anyone you think would appreciate it!