As a child Annabel grew up quintessentially Kiwi. Running around barefoot in the hills, riding horses, getting muddy and not having a care in the world. It was a childhood filled with everything from ballet to tennis, athletics, skiing, water skiing, horse riding, basketball, netball, hockey, athletics and the like, always with a burning desire & dream to be the best she could at whatever she did. Talent did not necessarily come naturally, but hard work & determination did.
At high school it was a juggling act between horses, tennis, athletics & ski racing until it all came to a crushing halt when her left leg shattered in a skiing accident. Dogged determination and the desire to get back to fulfilling her dream of being an international athlete burned strong. 11 months later, another training accident, this time her right knee. With the prospect of skiing well off the radar and a bike for rehabilitation all her energy soon became diverted into triathlon, but time and time again, her body gave out when she needed it most and she was left to pick up the pieces.
As university came to a close and a corporate career reluctantly beckoned, the dream to have adventures and do what she loved still burned strong. It would take a redundancy, the global financial crises and moving from New Zealand to the other side of the world to give her the confidence to re-awaken that dream, the dream of striving to be one of the best in the world at something.
What had been a source of serenity and calmness in a city of speed & stress has now become the vehicle to realizing that once forgotten dream. A chance decision to attend the Jever Stand Up Paddling World Cup in Germany provided the key to open a door to a secret passage she could never have imagined. In the space of little over a year, this secret passage has taken her all over the world through Europe, North America, Asia and the South Pacific, reconnecting her with New Zealand en route.
That long forgotten dream is becoming a reality, touring the world, sharing it with other people.
Never give up on your dreams, you never know when you will find them sitting just around the corner. You just have to look and you might just find what you have been searching for.
Annabel is regarded as a world leader in the Stand Up Paddle Community. Currently ranked World No.2 and European Champ, she divides her time between traveling the world circuit, coaching clients the world over and her native homeland New Zealand where she is committed to furthering the sport.