Haven Livingston
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Finding new moves and skills no matter how old the run
By Haven Livingston

Seeing your route from a new angle definitely lends fresh perspective.

Seeing your route from a new angle definitely lends fresh perspective.

After logging a whopping 115 days of kayaking last year, it’s disappointing to admit I’ve only reached 27 days so far this year. Work, other sports, life; there is so much to do and so few hours of daylight. The adventurous runs are so far away … or so I thought.

Instead of traveling to kayak new runs I’m finding myself on my neighborhood run, Chili Bar, on the South Fork American River more often than I thought tolerable. You know the feeling; you’re tying your laces up and hitting the same after-work trail run you’ve done every Wednesday night that you can remember. You’re thinking, “This, again?” How mind numbing.

But after more than 50 times on the run I’ve discovered there are still new moves to be had, and skills to work on. The trick of the trade is finding them.

I’ve recruited veteran Chili Bar aficionados, newbies, raft guides and even a few fish to paddle with me downriver and help me discover new spots to play, practice tricks and heck, even finding a new pee stop is a score. Open the blinders up and take a new loop, or close your eyes and go through a run backwards. Switching up boats keeps it interesting too. Test your balance on different equipment. All I’m saying is that sometimes, you’ve got to get a little creative to get past the predictable, and our own backyards are still beautiful fun places to play.

Of course, it never gets old when you’ve got good company.


Check out Haven Livingston’s whitewater blog Wavehaven Adventures at wavehaven.wordpress.com.