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You are here: Home > Community > Your Stories > Kayaking > Heather

heather herbeck kayaking

About Heather Herbeck:

Age: 33

Where I live: BZ Corners, WA (located in the Columbia River Gorge)

Where I'm from: Mankato, MN

How I got started in my sport:        
My boyfriend at the time (now husband) and his father invited me to go to the river with them and watch them kayak down some rapids.  I had NEVER seen this sport done, nor did I know it existed at that time (I was too immersed in my other sports).  After watching Nate go down these rapids in a plastic boat, I wanted to learn and do it too!  So, Nate and his dad taught me.  Soon after we were married, we moved to the Pacific Northwest, a year-round boating mecca, and have now built our lifestyles around this sport.

Athletic Achievements:        
2008 – 1st place in the Gorge Games Extreme Race
2008 – 2nd place in the Gorge Games Head – to – Head Race
2007 – 1st place in the Oregon Cup Canyon Creek Exreme Race – Pro Div
2006 – First female descent and overall 2nd descent of the Santa Domingo River, Mexico
2006 – Only female on the kayaking expedition of the Alseseca in Mexico
2006 – 1st descent of Wildboy Creek Falls, OR (OregonKayaking.net)
2005 - 1st place in the Oregon Cup Canyon Creek Extreme Race - Expert Division
2004 - 3rd place in the Gorge Games head-to-head
Athlete featured in many whitewater kayaking videos...

Athletic Goals:          
To challenge myself mentally and physically over the winter to place in the top 3 in the TEVA Games, the Gorge Games, and many other competitions. To push my fitness in all areas, competing in triathlons/marathons for "Athlete’s for a Cure" and "Race for the Cure" – two organizations that fight prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Inspiration:   
‘Wanting to be the best’ inspires me to train harder than the next person.

Philosophy:
Keep it fun.  Mistakes are okay, you learn from them and get better.  Surround yourself with people who bring the best out in you.

Favorite Spot to do my sport:
I have been to so many amazing places, that I have to name a few of my favorite places: Columbia River Gorge, Southern Mexico, Wisconsin/Michigan – and not just for the whitewater, but the people are awesome!  Let’s hear it for Hurley, WI!

Favorite Girls4Sport wear:
The Pocket scarf – it’s so cuddly!
The long sleeve rashguard because I’m always on the water and it's super stylish
Beach Skirt -  In a male-dominant sport, I like to look feminine when I can!

What I do when I’m not in the water:
Spend time with my husband – we love to hang out, the two of us.
Cross train – run, lift weights, cycle
Check email – I’m an email junkie (and a facebook junkieJ)

My job:
I have been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor for about 7 years, and currently do that in White Salmon, WA and Hood River, OR.  During the summer months, I teach whitewater kayaking and raft guide on the beautiful White Salmon River.  In my spare time, I travel to universities, outdoor expos and symposiums as a motivational speaker, focusing on the topic of "The Kayaking Mindset".

Education:
B.A. Exercise Science  - Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, CA in 1998.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
YMCA Fitness Specialist
Wilderness First Responder
Whitewater Rescue Technician

Interesting/unusual facts about me:
None.. I’m not interesting and I’m completely normal [Ha!] I took ballet for 10 years, performing with the Oakland Ballet Company in one performance. I hated pink while I was growing up because it was "too girlie", yet now, most of my kayaking gear is pink because I want to be recognized as "being a girl". My husband and I got married 9 years ago, when he had just turned 20 – my parents were pretty upset that he was drinking champagne being under age 'n all!

heather herbeck kayaking off a waterfall
heather herbeck getting ready to kayak
heather herbeck sleeveless rashguard
heather herbeck long sleeve rashguard
heather herbeck kayaking on a lake

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