It’s my birthday and I tried to create a timeline of each year and events that were going on in my life! Check it out!
1990- I was born March 13th at 4 pounds ten ounces, and my Dad made the Salom US Team- again!
1991- I was getting cuter by the second and helped Dad cope with an injury the year before his Olympic debut!
1992- My first time to the Olympics to cheer Dad on, who coped with injury and still made the Olympic team!
1993- My punk baby brother was born and Dad started working at Adventure Schools Kayaking School and Won his first Freestyle Kayaking Title on the Ocoee. I was officially the kayaking baby as each paddler had turns watching me!
1994- Dad’s till taking names at Slalom and training full time and bought Adventures Schools. Some famous paddlers came out of Adventure Schools such as Tanya Shuman!
1995- I started school and got my first kayak! The puddle jumper!
1996- Dad didn’t make Olympic Team so we rocked out at Disney World to cope. And we continued to avoid anything to remind him of the four years of training, including fruit loops and lucky charms. Hard times!
1997- Mom and Dad don’t like each other, Dad got a silver medal at the Worlds on the Ottawa, came home sold everything we owned (didn’t even pack it just opened the doors to strangers with money) and moved into the RV. Mom and Dad now really like each other. Dane ran the Ottawa (jerk already had to one up me)
1998- Life on the road means more paddling for everyone! Dane and I jump in the water more often and run the Feder Canal falls, the Wasau Whitewater Course, and anywhere Dad thought fit. Dad won ten rodeos in a row.
1999- The adventure begins; trip to Zambezi with the whole family was filled with safaris and amazing life stories. Yes the baboons did steal all the laundry. And yes my mother did push me down to run away from the noise in the bush. (She did leave the car unlocked for us though) Straight from Africa to New Zealand where we rented a 2 bedroom mansion on Lake Tahoe- it was huge sort of. Worlds were held there and Dad didn’t place well. But got the first ever aerial blunt in a competition. Dane kindles his love for foam boats, and I successfully get the whole US and Canadian team hung over before their practice- forgot to tell them my milkshakes had Amarula in them- no wonder they were so good. We rented an RV after, traveled NZ and its mighty beaches, Dad bought a Mini and tied us to the roof for fun in a parking lot, and cops didn’t like it. Jessie Stone tried to see if we could break the record for most people, most stuff, and most miles in a mini cooper.
2000- Millennium- Nothing exciting; could have been in Downtown DC but I wanted a sleep over so we went to friends house in DC and watched it on the TV. I am now ten, and Dane is 7 but looks like he is 3. Rv is still kicking; we have two dogs that I have had since birth who are the constant blame for any awkward smells in the RV.
2001- Dane and I are kayaking more but still not often. We head to Spain where Dad wins his second world championship medal. Best event I can remember in my childhood, Mom and Dad super happy, Dane and I free to roam the small town whenever we please, and dinners after our bedtime everyday! I also got stuck in an elevator for over an hour by myself- not a highlight.
2002- Mom and Dad buy property in Rock Island, TN. Dane and I start kayaking for real. I decide that I was tired of being out of shape and not excited about much. I decided I wanted to work on my roll and Dad gets super excited about it, Dane joins in because he doesn’t want to be left out and the rest was history!
2003- Dane and I start competing. I am a JR woman but competed JR men when there wasn’t any. Won my first event and had so much fun competing I couldn’t wait for the next event. Got my loop and paddled every second I could. We lived in Graz, Austria at one point where the water smelled rather odd and the hole was death hole- swims were over 200 and that’s includes top athletes from around the world. JACKSON KAYAK IS BORN!
2004- I make the JR Women Team, and head to Penrith Australia. I placed 2nd and I won the Teva Mountain Games Pro Women’s Class for the first time and got second at the Reno River festival, surprising everyone but shocking Brooke Winger. Dad and Dane didn’t make the team but were alternates and managed to come compete when no one else could fill the spot.
2005- Not sure what to do with all the money I just won during last years season so I decide to donate it all to Soft Power Health ($4,500). Start doing fundraisers and planning my trip to Uganda. Dad wins 3rd World Championships and I get Fourth at my first worlds. Win the Teva Mountain Games again and get first at the Reno River Festival. Nick Troutman lives in the RV with us and boy was he hot. Head to Uganda in December with all my winnings in pocket with another $18,000 of raised money! My winnings refurbish a school and pay a doctor to work at the health clinic for a full year. The rest goes into various projects such as paying a girl to go to nursing school in Uganda! Nick comes with us and still doesn’t seem to like me :
2006- I get my first car thanks to God father and Uncle Scott. But I can’t drive it so Nick thinks it’s a good time to start liking me and we start dating- I guess it was because I came with a car! World Cup in North America begins and I place second to Tanya Faux in the Pro Women’s. This was my first international event as a pro woman and not a Jr. I also get first at Teva and second at Reno! Nick keeps a stray dog my mom found then leaves for Mexico for two months, leaving Rio with me; all her bad behavior comes from me! Our first Dalmatian, Pebbles, Passes away. We get a new puppy- Rocksey- who even as a puppy had serious attitude! But we still loved her!
2007- I buy my first Volkswagen Van to travel around with Nick. 1988 Westfalia that failed to make it to any event on time but sure was fun when it was parked. Nick kills it at his team trials for Canada and starts placing on the rodeo circuit. We visit Uganda to train for Worlds. Dad wins his Fourth Worlds, Nick gets third, Dane gets second and I get first, winning my first worlds. Mom is scheduling our year and decides she wants another kid.
2008- a visit to Costa Rica around my birthday and a slalom training camp in Kenya keep the early spring busy. I win the Olympic Trials for Africa and can honestly say I was fast! World Cup in Europe Tests all of us and I come out on top even battling Pneumonia the whole time and constant visits to the hospital. KC is born while we are all away and only later do we find out we almost lost mom during the whole thing. Get home super grateful to have the whole family together and healthy. I win Teva again and continue to get top three at every event. Parents buy me a French bulldog, who I named Rupert. Second Dalmatian, target passes away and we all mourn!
2009- World Championships in Switzerland, Nick and I get married; buy a house and a car. Pretty stacked year! Dad got second at the Worlds, and so did Dane. Nick and I decide the Westy is no longer drive able and buy and element. House was just a steal of a deal and I decided it would be a good financial decision. Now I love having my own nook! Nick and I stayed in Europe a month after worlds, kayaking and visiting shows- super fun time! I get ranked #1 female in slalom for that year. Mom and Dad get a super weird Dalmatian- Tilly who is really small and really heavy! I am now 19.
2010- Nick and I decide not to go to World Cup as it was in the middle of the US tour and Nick needed to be in the country to get his green card. I win my 6th teva mountain games and barely did so as the water came up making the feature disappear and huge logs came through making it hard to commit to flipping! Dad gets top 5 at the 2010 World Cup and Dane wins it. Dane also establishes himself as an all around boater and places in oc-1, c-1, and Jr men. World Cup turns into one event due to floods.
2011- Train in Uganda again! Worlds in Germany, Dane takes the spotlight with 3 gold medal wins and one bronze. I don’t paddle my best and get second but can honestly say I think Ruth Gordon and I had the most fun training out of anyone at that entire event! Thanks Rudy! Lets do it again! Dane and Nick got to Grand Prix where kayaking skills were stretched! Dane takes the gold and Nick gets fourth. I win my 7th Teva Mountain Games and I am paddling really well. Dad, Nick and Dane are paddling better than ever, Uncle Clay Wright and I hold our own but continue to push in hopes of beating out the rest of the boys. Head to Mexico for a month to creek and paddle our rec boats! Run my biggest waterfall only because Nick tells me it was 15 feet when it was 30- not very nice Nick….
2012- it has only begun! I am hoping it will be filled with more adventures, health and happiness. I hope to paddle well and continue to push the sport as a female freestyle advocate. Lets keep this time line going and see what other life stories I can add to it!