OC1 Essay Content Entry - Keona Martin

The following submission was made as an entry to win a OC1 from an amazingly generous donor, who wanted to see the canoe truly enjoyed, rather than turn a profit. Entrants were asked to submit an essay answering the following:

  • Part 1: “Describe how paddling has changed your life.”
  • Part 2: “How do you plan to use this canoe, and perhaps someday pass it along?”

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Keona Martin, California

How did paddling change my life? Paddling changed my life by teaching me how to be a team and how to think as one nation. I have been paddling for 7 years and I enjoy seeing my family and friends paddle with me.

Over the last 7 years, I have learned the fundamentals and the jobs of each seat. I have been training in seats 1 and 2. Seat 1 is the paddler that sets the pace, while seat 2 sets the rhythm and calls the changes. I enjoy sitting in seats 1 and 2, because it helps me focus on the specific job for the seat.

Paddling also taught me to think as one and to move as one. Paddling in the canoe gave me a mindset of you go into the water with your paddle as one and you come out of the water as one. It taught me to move with my team/family as one together. I love this part because it shows how much each person comes together and how we grow as a family together.

Lastly, paddling has helped me mentally, spiritually, and physically. Before going on the water during a race or just practice we sing our prayer to the lord to keep us safe during our travels. It physically gives you a workout throughout your whole body and test your mental capacity.

In conclusion, I love paddling in everything that it teaches. From the history of the canoe and the people who started the fundamentals of paddling. My overall experience in paddling is fun, amazing, and challenging. This is the best sport I have ever played.


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