Geneviève Brassard, 27
Years Paddling: 7
Homeland: Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec (a true French Canadian/Québécoise)
Current Boat: FIVE
About Me: 2012, the year I decided to do something crazy with my three good girlfriends: rafting on the Mistassibi River in Lac-Saint-Jean. After this awesome experience of big water class 4/5, I wanted more. So I decided to start training like Roockette (Rooky) with the Quebec Raft company. Three months later, I bought my first playboat.
My first two years of kayaking were like a roller coaster. I was scared of getting stuck in my boat, so a lot of the time I would just sit on the rocks and watch all my friends 'wallace' in the rapids. Then after an hour or so, I would just walk away instead of getting back into my kayak. A French Canadian from Lac-Saint-Jean means Avoir une tête de cochon (Pigheaded). I was too proud to stop kayaking but was scared to advance. So, in my third year, I decided to do my certification to be a kayak instructor and see what can happen, where I can go and what I can actually do. I learned a lot about the rapids and the paddle techniques, which gave me more confidence and helped me be less scared. I also learned how to stop thinking about my emotions (girl thinking) and just kayak. I decided to train myself on the Mistassibi River, which has since become my home river. Last summer, I did a road trip all around Canada to paddle a lot of rivers in British Columbia. I realized how lucky I am to be born in this country (no more fear anymore).
Summer time means kayaking for me. But over the past few winters I was pretty busy attending school. I studied Dance, Physical Education, Psychology and Early Childhood Education. After all this schooling, I was lucky to land a teaching position in Whistler, BC which allowed for me enjoy a crazy season snowboarding on the mountain.
All my certifications have one thing in common; I love human relations and sharing my passions. Kayaking for me is an escape. It's something I don't need to do for any specific reason. I just enjoy having fun, my life and all surroundings. This helps remind me how lucky we are to find such happiness on each and every river. I want this for everybody. I want to share my passion.
The last thing I want to talk about is Pink Water (with a warning for the girls, as this is a crazy event in Quebec!). There's not a lot of women in Quebec out playing in our abundance of whitewater. Pink Water is an annual event held on the Mistassibi River that hosts 75+ gals for a weekend initiation to kayaking, rafting, or boogie boarding. By the end of it, everyone is so proud of themselves and their accomplishments. And after each year, when I get to meet the girls I previously taught, and see them now as real paddlers enjoying everything about the river, all I can think is Mission Accomplished!