Thursday, January 19, 2012

Emily Jackson Update from Mexico

Emily Jackson, one of our newest members of the team, is a 21 year old 2X World Champion Kayaker. She is also a 7X Teva Mountain Game Winner. Her father was the perfect teacher, being a 4X World Champion and an Olympic paddler himself. She recently went on a trip down to Veracruz, Mexico and gave us an update and some pictures.

"Veracruz, Mexico : A Paddlers All- Around Destination and One of my New Personal Favorite Locations
My husband leaves me for Veracruz, Mexico about 4 times a year. I have been a couple times but only to play the kayaker’s wife who has food and beer for him at the take out and a back massage because he landed too flat off a big waterfall. Not this time. This I went down to hold my own and although I didn’t run a 70 footer, or launch off the biggest rapids in the biggest rivers. I did get my own adrenaline thrill and enjoyed doing so!
 Because we were helping to promote all levels of boating in the Veracruz region I got to paddle many jaw dropping class 2, 3, 4 rivers. These rivers were not only amazing because of the fun whitewater they had to offer but because the scenery was indescribable. 
 I ran three class 5 runs, the Upper Jalacingo, the ORO, and the Road Side Section of the Alseseca and each had me slightly nervous but excited at the same time.  I am that person that screams the whole way down and then cries afterwards when I get forced onto Disney’s Tower of Terror. I am also the girl that throws up looking at intimidating horizon lines. I also don’t get too worked up until right after I run something. It’s pretty funny actually, the timing in most videos where you see a kayaker fist pump after nailing a line, you see me hugging my boat and trying not to let everyone around me know I am sniffling back tears. 

Normally muttering something like why did I just do that that was scary. But it’s the little stuff in between that reminds of cool it is to be in such a unique canyon in another country, with my family and friends and doing what Eleanor Roosevelt said to be necessary in every day. “Do one thing a day that scares you.”  One thing that tends to keep me off the class 5 creeks is that thinking of that one rapid that I absolutely don’t want to do. The one rapid defines the whole run because it’s all I can think about, even if that rapid is easier than the one I just did. 

But I was very excited as this trip was one of the first times I managed to take each ripple at a time and I realized how much of it I truly enjoyed the river and felt I was in my comfort zone.  I also realized that as much as I can trust the boys to tell me what I would and wouldn’t like for a majority of the runs, that sometimes I can surprise them, and myself. After doing some sketchy seal launches and big slides, I looked at the famous log drop on the Jalacingo and decided out of all the things I have done in the day that it looked nowhere near as bad! My line wasn’t epic but I was proud in myself for looking and deciding based on me and not what people tell me. 
I also walked certain rapids on the Road Side section but overall was amazed at how much fun and accessible all the drops were.  If I didn’t want to run something, the walk was as simple as portaging could be!
The easier runs that I enjoyed paddling and really soaked in the landscape were the Pescados, Phillabobos and Octopan. We did multiple sections of the Pecados and the Phillabobos and each had their own unique feeling. From the rock formations, elephant ear size ferns to the rapids themselves the rivers will always be remembered as a fantastic life experience.

If anyone is every wondering where to go to eat fantastic and I mean truly fantastic food, drink good cheap beer, paddle down some insanely beautiful rivers, and enjoy the adventure that a personally new location has to offer, Veracruz, Mexico has it all….."
Emily Jackson-Troutman