How to strengthen your core with the Stability Ball Pass

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a straight fitness post so it’s time to get back to my roots.

Once you’ve developed a solid and stable core and your low back can support you effectively, you’re ready to begin building core strength. Core strength exercises are characterized by adding movement through the spine as well as using the core to resist rotational forces.

There are many different ways to work on your core without doing sit ups and today I’m going to introduce you to one of those options.

Today’s exercise is the stability ball pass. Enjoy!


Bishop Boards

I am pleased to be a member of the Pro Paddler Team for Bishop Boards.  I am honored to be affiliated with this small, family-owned and paddler-run business and look forward to introducing more paddlers to the Bishop Boards line up.

Beautiful craftsmanship, great quality, and a wide variety of boards for every skill level means whether you are SUP fishing, touring, surfing, racing, or doing SUP yoga, Bishop Boards has a ride for you.

If you want to experience the Bishop Honu or Luna boards firsthand, contact me.


I didn’t know

I can’t tell you how many times I hear someone justify not wearing a PFD by saying they are a good swimmer.

Fitness will help you be a better paddler. But let’s face it, water is stronger. Water will always win.

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is dedicated to educating as many people as possible on the dangers we face every day in the environment we love.

Read Dave Benjamin’s most recent article in the Kenosha News.


Active warm ups for paddlers

2013 Tour de Romandie Stage 5 warmup Photo credit: Thortuck

A proper warm up is key to staying healthy and strong as a paddler. If you’ve ever watched the Tour de France, you’ve probably seen the riders warming up for an hour or more before the race, only to them get in their bikes and ride for 6+ hours at speeds you and I can only imagine. Then, after finishing the stage they cool down for another hour.

They know something.

They know that jumping on the bike cold doesn’t lead to their best performance. They know that riding cold, or failing to cool down properly, can lead to injury.

Why should you be any different?

Just because you’re not riding in Le Tour doesn’t mean you should treat your body with the same care.

Try my favorite active warm ups for paddlers

If you want to see these warm ups in action, they’re included in the Power to the Paddle DVD.


St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

One experience every paddler should have at some point is an up-close view of the annual dyeing of the Chicago River.

Since 1962 the river has been dyed green at 9:00 am on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. The Plumbers Union Local 130 adds an orange biodegradable vegetable dye to the water to create the fluorescent shade of green. For those who say “why dye it, the river is always green”, you’ve never seen green water quite like this.

The paddle is not for the faint of heart. It’s a raucous affair with every tour boat coming out for the event. Add in private power boats, numerous police and Coast Guard boats, and many kayaks in an environment with sheer walls and no easy bailout points and you’ve got to be on your toes the entire time.

The actual dyeing takes about 45 minutes and is performed by several small boats running up and down a 2 block stretch of the river starting at Michigan Avenue and progressing inland. The vibrant green dye job lasts only about 5 hours.


Thank you for sharing

I just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Canoecopia and I have to say that this year was the best ever.

I am fortunate to have been selected as a speaker on several topics this year. I had the pleasure of speaking with five separate audiences on topics, including a fitness session based on Power to the Paddle, leadership principles for day trips, and how to pack a kayak for a multi-day trip.

The best part of the weekend was something that I will never grow tired of experiencing. Throughout the weekend, I had paddlers seek me out on the show floor and before and after speaking to tell me how much the book and DVD, Power to the Paddle, helped them.

One gentlemen is down 25 pounds and continuing to lose more as a result of getting off the couch and focusing on himself. He is moving more now than ever and living life to the fullest.

Another paddler has incorporated the exercises in the book into his programming three days a week and has increased his mobility considerably.  As a result, he is back to enjoying long paddles without feeling exhausted at the end of the day.

Another, who was working at the bookstore, purchased the book two years ago, well before working the show, and was recommending it to others for the benefits she gained.

Your stories are exactly why I wrote the book and produced the DVD. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you’ve made a difference and helped someone enjoy their passion. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of pride when I noticed this sitting on a chair on Saturday afternoon. I truly hope that this paddler gains the same benefits.

Thank you to everyone who is using the book and DVD. Keep telling me your stories. I am truly honored.



CPR, AED, and First Aid Training Now Available

ASHI approved training center logo

I’ve been teaching CPR/AED/First Aid for Children, Infants, and Adults for my employer for the past 7 years and now it’s time to take the classes public. is an authorized training center through the American Safety and Health Institute and will be leading my first public class on March 24.

If you’re in the Chicago area and looking for a thorough CPR/AED/First Aid certification at a reasonable price, here’s your opportunity.




The ASHI Training Center logo is a registered trademark of Health & Safety Institute or its affiliates. All rights reserved.


Will you be at Canoecopia 2019?

I will and I hope to see you there too.

I am honored to have been invited to speak four times on three topics at this year’s edition of the world’s largest paddlesports expo.

Here are my topics for 2019:

  • Power to the Paddle: Exercises to Improve your Canoe and Kayak Paddling
  • Leadership Principles for Effective and Fun Day Trips
  • Perfectly Pack Your Kayak for a Multi-Day Trip

Get the schedule for my Canoecopia presentations

If you’ve never visited, check out five reasons to love Canoecopia.

See you in March!




Join me on Isle Royale – July 30 -August 4, 2019

The view from the top of Rock Harbor lighthouse

I love the magic of Isle Royale.

The majestic and wild beauty. The history of the place, it’s people and their stories, and wildlife. The incredible sunrises and unforgettable sunsets. The thimbleberry and blueberry picking (and the resulting blueberry pancakes). In 2019 I have the opportunity to share this special island with others.

I am stoked to be guiding a trip for Uncommon Adventures in 2019. Our group will explore the island that is the nation’s second least visited National Park, but which also holds the distinction of being the park with the highest return visit rate. There’s a very good reason for that high return rate. Once you’ve been there, you’ll be counting the days before you’re back!

Learn more about the Isle Royale Explorer trip and please consider joining me in 2019!

Blueberries picked from the Greenstone Ridge

Werner Paddles Ambassador

I am proud to announce that I have been named a Werner Paddles Ambassador.

I am honored to be affiliated with a company like Werner, one who is committed to delivering a great product with fantastic support. I have been a proud Werner user for several years and always enjoy the opportunity to share the story with other paddlers.

If you want to experience a Werner product first hand, connect with me at an event or class.

Take a minute to find your paddle at