Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Summer of Giving Back

August is ushering in autumn at a rapid pace! Last week, my husband and I noticed that one of our maple trees at the top of our drive started dropping leaves and the sumac trees along our road are starting to blaze into a brilliant of those sad and exciting moments. Sad to see the summer coming to an end, knowing the boarding season is coming to a close...and excitement for a new season, crisp air, and a change in our schedule. Here is a brief recount of some of my highlights from this season:

This summer has been fantastic. It has been truly amazing to meet so many people! Some excited to try stand up paddling for the first time, some nervous about trying yoga on a paddle board, some with new boards of their own looking for fitness ideas to try out.

It has been an awesome SUP season.

In April, Lakes Pace partnered with Marco (out of Detroit Lakes) to donate a Yolo Roughneck paddle board, paddle and leash that was auctioned off to benefit the Lakes Area Crisis & Resource Center ( The work they do there is so important. I felt honored when the board was auctioned so successfully. I think it was a highlight of the night for the center as well as a testament to the generous nature of the local people in our area.

In July, the early morning yogis from the DLCCC participated in SUP yoga classes on the lake (instead of our regular 6am sculpting class in the studio). The class was free for members, but a donation was collected that would be given to the March of Dimes in honor of one of my children who was born three months premature. We were rained out one Tuesday and another was quite chilly...but despite those two less-than-perfect mornings, over $200 was collected and donated to the North Dakota March of Dimes (Fargo chapter). Writing that check was pretty exciting for me. The people who work in the NICU departments in Fargo are amazing professionals. They truly are angels on earth witnessing and being part of miracles every single day.

Also in July, I taught a SUP yoga class on Holbrook Lake (just South of Detroit Lakes) for a group of survivors; women who lost a husband or partner in the line of duty (active or in preparation of action). Holbrook Farm ( is a newly remodeled facility that is going to be a refuge for these strong women. Matt and Micaela (the owners) have a beautiful dream of hosting free retreats for survivors from all over the United States. The women who attended in July were simply amazing and I was quite humbled by their strength and stories. If you are curious, contact them and take a tour of their farm. It is amazing!

In August, Lakes Pace headed into North Dakota for a 3-day retreat with North Dakota Game and Fish. The event is called BOW (becoming an outdoors woman). What a cool event! Ladies stay in dorms and eat like queens (not having to cook or clean up for three whole days!) while they participate in a variety of outdoor activities that include paddling, kayaking, canoeing, backing up a boat trailer, tying fly fishing lures, learning to fly fish, archery, rifle sports, hiking, animal tracking...and so many more activities! It is one of those events that is perfect for a group of girlfriends or a neat mother-daugther get away. It is an event that I've been part of since I started Lakes Pace. This year was their 20th anniversary...and it keeps growing!

In the coming weeks, Lakes Pace is hosting a couple of student athlete groups during their camps. Paddle boarding will be part of their team building activities as they prepare for their competitive seasons. As a former coach, it is pretty fun to see these young athletes have experiences off the playing field or court that will help them meld as a team later in the season.

To all of the yogis and paddlers who rented boards from me or took a class: thank you for a wonderful season!

The school year is approaching fast. Lakes Pace puts the paddles and boards away and returns to school just as so many youngsters do every fall. I'm available right through Labor Day weekend...give me a call to schedule a rental or a class.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and have a very healthy autumn.