Get FREE Shipping on all orders $50 or more. Use code 50FREESHIP at checkout!

Crew Spotlight: Jess Martin Paddles for Cancer

June 14, 2019

Crew Spotlight: Jess Martin Paddles for Cancer

Our Wildway Crew is always inspiring us and making us proud. One crew member recently completed an awesome excursion for a good cause and came back with a story to tell. Here's his recap:

"Hi, my name is Jess Martin and this was my 5th year paddling the Tyler's Dam that Cancer (DTC)- a 21mile, dam-to-dam, excursion on Lake Austin for Flatwater Foundation via stand up paddleboard. It went something like this…
 
Monday:
4am – Wake up and make breakfast
5:30am – Head out to buses for transport (luckily I live only a few blocks away from pick up)
5:45am – Load up on the buses and begin 40 min journey to Mansfield Dam
6:30am – Hug, high-five and catch up with the other 200 paddlers.
7am – Get SUP board and float out into the lake.
7:30am – National Anthem and time of remembrance from those lost that we are paddling for.
8am – Paddle Kickoff
*Countless paddle strokes*
12pm – Lunch provided
12:45pm – Load off and begin second half
*Countless more strokes and munching on Wildway Snack Mixes*
5:45pm – Arrive at cove across from Hula Hut and let the “off loading” volunteers prep for arrival
6pm – Paddle the final couple hundred yards across the lake to Hula Hut and unload
7pm – Stuff face with food and drown in margaritas
8pm – Bed

tyler's dam that cancerDuring this entire process, you find yourself within a community of supportive and wonderful people. The volunteers in boats keeping us safe, constantly asking if we need water, food or anything. The other paddlers offering words of encouragement. Seasoned paddle veterans helping the less experienced with tips of efficient stroke technique or balance suggestions. When people fall, and it’s not rare, everyone helps. Paddlers stop, catch the board, gather things and ensure the fallen gets back up and continues. We are all in this together and no one is left behind.

Look around and see names and initials written in black marker on most everyone’s body. Keeping them close to their hearts and minds when the wind shifts in front of you and each stroke is an exercise in forward movement futility. The sense of love and overwhelming support is unparalleled. This event brings people together to not just workout and check a life box of a paddle challenge, but brings people together to support not only this group but thousands of others that need it. We come together because everyone has a reason to remember lost ones and we do that the entire day. Though calm waters and waves, though headwinds and falls, together we prevail and it reminds us that even when the water isn’t flat, there is support, there is purpose and there is ALWAYS love. 

paddleboarding

Tyler’s DTC is an event that most anyone can get behind. Most everyone has a relative, friend or personal experience/battle with cancer. Unfortunately, most of these battles end in a manner that sends ripples of grief and sadness thoughout entire communities. The Flatwater Foundation (benefactor of Tyler’s DTC) has devoted itself to providing counseling and therapy for those effected by cancer losses.

For the last 10 years DTC has been the largest funds and awareness raising event for Flatwater Foundation. This year we raise over $1,000,000 JUST through this event! One of the most impressive things about this event in particular and a huge reason I support and participate in it is that 100% of all the funds raised go straight to being others. EVERY dollar!  The food, boats, boards, time, buses, etc… ALL donated so that there are no expenses to cover. Through the immense generosities of these people and companies helping make this event possible, thousands of people in need benefit directly. 

tyler's dam that cancer
I choose to do this each year knowing full well I will hurt, I will suffer, and I will be drained… but it reminds me of those suffering every day with loss and hurt.  It reminds me of those I have lost and their struggle. It reminds me that every day with loved ones is a blessing and an annual reminder of those things- even one as crazy challenging as a 21 mile stand up paddle- is a beautiful reason to put your olive branch out and do some good for others. "
paddleboarding



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The Wildway Journal

Lessons Learned by Escaping the Boundaries of Comfort
Lessons Learned by Escaping the Boundaries of Comfort

January 20, 2020

When we decide to step beyond that which is familiar to us, into discomfort, we give ourselves space to grow. In this story, Wildway content manager, Amanda, shares the why behind her recent trip to Colorado and the revelations that come from such an experience. 

Continue Reading

Packing Guide: Winter Car Camping Edition
Packing Guide: Winter Car Camping Edition

January 20, 2020

How does one even begin to pack for 8 days of winter car camping and hiking in a personal item and carry-on? Make your life easier and skip the guessing game of what's essential to pack and what's not; we've done the hard work for you.   

Continue Reading

Trail Reviews: Lily Mountain - Estes Park, CO
Trail Reviews: Lily Mountain - Estes Park, CO

January 19, 2020

For unbeatable and uninterrupted 360-panoramic views of the mountains composing the Continental Divide range, look no further than Lily Mountain. A short, yet steep, hike that will reward you for more than your efforts asked for. Read about our experience to know what to expect for your own.

Continue Reading