Thursday, March 1, 2012
Steve (featured here) asked me the hard question this week at a Spokane Whitewater Park meeting; "Are you going to do Hydrotherapy Sessions this year?" I had thought a bit about this question previously but had not forced myself to answer.
This event was started with the desire to build a stronger bond of community among Inland Northwest area playboaters by encouraging people to try new things, help people learn a few new moves and get out on the water at the same time. I can thankfully say that at some level or another I've seen all three of these results happen over the past few years thanks to HydroRX events. With a revolving group of personalities over five years of events (started in 2007), we have had scores of smiles in the water, and even more on the shore cheering. As I look back over the memories from each competition I can't help but smile with fondness.
Hydrotherapy Sessions will not continue in its current form for 2012. It is hard to say this, as the fondness and memories are hard to ignore. The time for a change has come. Our event attendance has dwindled over the past two seasons primarily due to a lack of event promotion (aka my fault). Looking at 2012 I don't have the internal drive to promote or organize these events. In 2010 and 2011 seasons I was incredibly grateful for the help of the other event leaders (Dustin, Steve, Dave, Chris, did I forget anyone?) but I can't ask them to continue if I'm not going to put the work into promoting the event series on the water, on the web, in print, and through numerous e-mails.
Hydrotherapy Sessions started before the foundation of World Kayak's Hometown Throwdowns which essentially mirrors the ethos of our local series WK Throwdowns were a natural fit for our local event and were the primary sponsor for 2011 and an amazing partner (Thank you Colin Kemp). I hope that if anyone is disappointed to see this series end for 2012 that they get in touch with Steve Bailey and see how they can help re-start the fire under World Kayak.
2012 is going to be another great year of paddling in the Inland Northwest. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone out on the river this year as we thaw out and splash around a bit.
Events like this don't happen without allot of support. Our sponsors have been very generous (be sure to thank them with a purchase). Our host the Spokane River has been kind with water flows and we could not be more grateful. Most of all, my deepest thanks go out to the people who showed up, tried something new, learned a new move and smiled a bit in the process.