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amber champion April 2, 2019

Why I Chose the Ocean

As a paddler I’m often asked why I do what I do. There is a long version to that but the short story is, I needed the ocean. 

Did you know scientists have now proven that there are health benefits to being around the ocean? 
There is the obvious ones that we all see in the movies; like living close to the ocean makes you more active, and ultimately live a healthier lifestyle. 

Then there is the ‘OM’ factor, the feeling of overwhelming relaxation when your feet hit the sand and your ears hear the ocean, the same factor that promotes creative thinking, compassionate thinking and reduces anxious thoughts. I questioned this one for while, why does it do these things? For me, I think it’s because it puts into perspective how small I am and how vast the opportunities are. It makes me realize how short life is and how we should really stop worrying about all the little things, take a step back and look at the big picture.

There’s the aspect of the ocean that actually helps raging asthmatics like myself – it’s just like doing a daily Netty pot but without actually having to pour a kettle of salt water up your nose. But did you know theres a true reason why people are happier at the ocean? No, it’s not because it means they’re on vacation. Ocean air contains negatively charged ions that help absorb oxygen and balance our serotonin levels. In plain language that means we will have more energy and diminished depression. Swimming in salt water is known to enhance the immune system, boost circulation, induce sleep and helps to relax muscles – thank the magnesium! 

Being someone with some challenging health issues, physical and mental, after years of seeing doctors, specialists and searching for answers, the ocean is what’s given me what I needed. It’s given me peace, a professional paddling career and endless amounts of opportunities. 

Amber was born in the UK, she moved to Ontario, Canada at the age of 5 where she spent most of her youth swimming competitively and climbing trees. When she was 13 she was introduced to the Whitewater kayaking world, where she fell madly in love with the adrenaline rush of big water and being upside down. When Amber was 15 she sustained two severe head injuries that changed her life. She was advised to quit the world of Whitewater and choose a more mellow hobby. From there she fell into the Sea Kayak and SUP instruction world, after taking her L1 instructors course she taught 32 courses in two months along with Advanced Flatwater SUP courses. This fuelled her passion and pushed her to be where she is now; Paddle Canada L3 Instruction (working on her L4 instructor mentorship), L1 Instructor Trainer (working on her L2 instructor trainer) and Level 4 skills, placing her as one of Canada’s top female instructor and youngest L3 instructor. Last year she attained her SUP instructor trainer certification and SUP multi-day touring instructor status. She is currently representing the following companies; Nigel Denis Kayaks (NDK), Lendal Paddles & Stohlquist Waterwear. Currently runs Blue Dog Kayaking, Vancouver Island & spends her winters guiding in the Abel Tasman National Park, NZ. Passionate about life & everything on the ocean. She is delighted to be part of this team, stay tuned for some of her upcoming blog posts.

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Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain
Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

CAMPFIRE STORIES

Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.