Today: Nora Whitmore, an American Canoe Association white-water kayaking instructor who volunteers through Rapids Riders, a Minnesota nonprofit that educates on paddling fundamentals.

Reading

The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle is a great book for those that want to learn new skills. I have used this theory in teaching white-water kayaking before reading the book and it expounds even more and in-depth how to develop a skill in a way that would make you adept at whatever you want to learn.

Following

I guess the people I follow the most are my students. I love to see where white-water kayaking has taken them on and off the river. They are my inspiration. I also like to follow the many incredible professional paddlers that I have met or heard of. They have helped me advance my paddling. Originally from Minnesota, Heather Herbeck is a Jackson Kayak-sponsored athlete in Washington. Heather comes back home every spring and does classes developing new kayak instructors. Her level of teaching is world-class, and I love assisting her when she is here.

Watching

I love following adventure stories. Stories that tell of faraway places that I haven’t seen … yet. Far away can be as far as 10 miles or thousands of miles. Adventure can be secretly close to you or seductively far away. The internet has brought these lands right to our computers. Destinations that call to me are Ireland, Iceland, British Columbia, Europe and Alaska. Closer to home I haven’t been to the East Coast or the Northeast, so I feel there is a road trip in my future. All of these destinations have wonderful white-water kayaking and/or mountain biking.

Watching/listening

I went over a decade without a TV because I prefer to be in nature running rivers, climbing, mountain biking and hiking. I listen to music and love all genres. There’s good and bad music in each category, and I appreciate them all.

Doing

My life revolves around white-water kayaking, mountain biking and volunteering. I volunteer with Rapids Riders, which is a nonprofit dedicated to responsible white-water paddling. They also have annually done a cleanup on the Vermillion River in Hastings since 2000. We have removed over 20,000 pounds of trash in those years! I volunteer with Team River Runner, a national organization helping wounded veterans get on the water and paddle. The organization has a yearly weekend at the Wausau Whitewater Park in Wausau, Wis., that I volunteer for every year. The men and women that go every year are an inspiration.

My big trip of the year will be up to Canada and across to Whistler, British Columbia, for mountain biking and kayaking. I will drop down to Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and then head home. This trip should be epic!

Bob Timmons