After my injury, it felt like I’d no longer be able to do all the amazing outdoor activities that I loved so much or be able to enjoy the world in which I still had so much to discover and explore. That was really difficult to process, and unfortunately I found myself slipping into a state of very poor mental health, with the feeling that there was nothing much left for me. Over time though, I realised what was happening and I refused to give in. I switched my attitude to one where I focussed on what I COULD do, rather than what I couldn’t. That’s when SUP came in.
SUP gave me the opportunity to have and enjoy better physical health and enabled me to still discover and explore our beautiful world, at my pace. Because paddle boarding is so versatile and adaptable, it means I can adjust my position easily from kneeling, sitting, hanging my legs off the sides through to standing depending on how I feel. The fact that I COULD still do what I originally thought I couldn’t gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and an ongoing boost to my mental health that had plummeted so badly following injury. Now, you’ll rarely see me without a grin plastered on my face!
Brain injury could have been the end of me, but it was actually the beginning, and now I help others discover their own benefits from SUP as an instructor
If you’re new to paddling, taking on a new challenge or looking to up-skill, there are a number of training courses available via British Canoeing that can help you feel safe and confident on the water. Short courses including Paddle Safer Training and Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning, as well as various e-learning modules are available on the British Canoeing Awarding Body website.