I was hooked on the sport though. I loved the adrenaline rush of competition and even better I had made a heap of new friends.
I had no real understanding of the sport and a pretty ordinary technique but I was keen to learn. The only thing I had going for me was fitness. So after 3 months in my new sport I passed the fitness test for the Aust team selections and invited to trial for the Auroras.
After 4 days of intense paddling, fitness tests and video scrutiny I came home covered in blisters and the biggest gunnell bruise I'd ever seen. My body went into meltdown and it took 4 days lying on the couch to recover.
I had stepped way outside my comfort zone. I didn't make the team - not even close - but I had soaked up the experience and learnt from the best coaches and paddlers in the country and i had a whole new group of likeminded friends.
Fast forward 2 years and I'm about to get on a plane to compete at the highest level of our sport- I'm about to represent Australia.
I said I love to compete - but it's not all about winning - it's about doing the best you possibly can. It's about the team, giving all you've got for your team and being the best you can be.
If I do that in Hungary and don't win a medal, I'll come home with a huge smile and sense of satisfaction - and i will have shared the journey with my team mates and supporters and made more new friends.
Those of you who paddled at Nationals for the first time this year, and those that represented Queensland would know the exhilaration of what it's like to go to that "next level".
This journey hasn't been easy. The commitment to training 6 nights a week has taken its toll with injury and training fatigue and I've had some real psychological battles that I've had to push through.
I look around at our Broadwater paddlers and see so much potential in every age division. I encourage you all - give it a go - go to the "next level", step outside your comfort zone. Be the best you can be. The worst that can happen is a few blisters. The best - who knows? You could represent your State next year or your country in 2 years time. Either way, you will learn much more about our sport, yourself, become a better paddler and make new friends - that's really what it's all about.
For me personally , I get to share another fantastic adventure with my best friend Kalinda.
Finally - Without the support of your club and club members none of this would happen. You can't paddle a dragon boat on your own. Thanks Broadie family.