I received this questions awhile ago:
i was wondering if you ever had to chose paddling over another sport.
First of all, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. Usually i can do this within 24 hours but it’s been a wild time. Anyway here is your answer: Not really. When i was 17 and training was taking up a large part of my life i was still playing volleyball and rugby in high school and I was an avid snowboarder. I gave up both snowboarding and rugby for the simple reason that I was most likely going to get hurt and I had spent the past couple of year training pretty hard and its was junior worlds that summer. In the end i’ve snowboarded once since 1999 and I do miss it. However paddling has been pretty good to me and i was never going to be a really good snowboarder. As for rugby i wasn’t going to be good at that either. I have too strong an strong aversion to hurting my body…
In the end it comes down to doing what you feel is right. If my goal was to solely to have fun i wouldn’t have stopped rugby and snowboarding. But I had already committed a lot of time to paddling and had a real goal which was to make Junior worlds. Please don’t think I chose no fun over fun. I was having a lot of fun paddling and junior worlds was the the most fun I’ve had on a trip ever. It comes down to what you want. If you’re a hockey player who is really good and might make the NHL well that would be awesome! If you’re really good in another sport and think you can further than you can in paddling go for it, if thats what you want. If you love paddling then stick with it. You really have to love whatever you’re going to stick with or you won’t succeed.
You should check out the C4C website in my links and write to Mark Oldershaw, he was a really good hockey player who made a choice. I’m sure he would get back to you quickly.
Hope that helps!