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Annie’s Kayaking Odyssey

"Sitting in silence on the calm water, I was able to reset myself mentally from my last competition and all the travel it took to get here."

Annie Haeger is always in training, so when Sperry offered her the chance to participate in the Odyssey Project, she jumped at the opportunity. Here are her thoughts on her kayaking adventure, which put her skills to the test on a completely different boat and unpredictable water.

Initially when I learned about my Odyssey, I was a little nervous. I actually try to stay OUT of the water while I’m sailing since I am not a very confident swimmer.

My Odyssey began by missing my flight, but for once it wasn’t my fault! The Olympic drug testing committee showed up ten minutes before takeoff. With a slight setback, we arrived in Northern Wisconsin at 7 p.m., quickly packed up the kayaks and set off.

The water is my court/field, so it was very hard for me not to compete while I was out on it. Our guide had to slow me down many times when I was trying to “beat” everyone. I had to remind myself to enjoy the beautiful scenery and embrace the experience.

Smooth water and an amazing sunset accompanied us as we paddled across Lake Superior to the caves. Sitting in silence on the calm water, I was able to reset myself mentally from my last competition and all the travel it took to get here. As we arrived at our campsite, we were met by dusk and the loudest frogs in the world!

The morning brought less desirable conditions with big waves and chilly temperatures. We set off at 6 a.m. as there was a small craft advisory in the afternoon. The crossing was more eventful this time, highlighted by surfing waves into the mainland beach.

I’m so grateful for this incredible Odyssey. The sea caves forced me to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak. It was a trip I will never forget.

Follow the #OdysseyProject or view other odysseys inspired by the sea at odyssey.sperry.com.