The Women of Badfish: Featuring Brittany Parker

 In Adventures, Team Riders

Photographer: Heather Jackson

Brittany Parker also known as BP, has been with us since around 2011. In that time she co-produced a film called ‘Can I Surf That‘ , she’s traveled to places like Japan and Zimbabwe to paddle, and her passion for river surfing runs so deep she’s made it her life’s pursuit to surf as many waves as possible. BP has spent the last couple years living out of her van, traveling across the country teaching people how to surf waves and paddle rivers with her business RVR2RVR. As of recently, much of her focus has turned to conservation and protecting her local waterways. When she’s not paddling she’s managing our social media, writing, planning her next big adventure, and editing videos. (Quetions by Bradley Hilton)

How has an apparent failure set you up for later success?

When I was 19 I was going to college in Denver unsure of what I was doing or why I was there. So I left. Snowboarding was my first love, the lifestyle/culture that I really fell for, I started homeschooling so I could do it as much as possible. So, I decided to chase a dream. I moved back to the mountains to pursue becoming a professional snowboarder. And every year since that decision I would procure an injury of some sort that would severely impact my season. It wasn’t until I tore my ACL that I decided to give up my life-long dream. It turned out I could still stand up paddle with my torn ACL and I poured everything I had into it. I realized it was more about finding something that allowed me to live a life the was focused around the outdoors. It didn’t matter what it was. So, here I am. 

‘BP paddling the Zambezi on her Standup4Rhinos project’ Photo Chantelle Melzer

In the last year, what new behavior or habit has more improved your life?

I’ve chosen to cut alcohol out of my life for a year. It’s been three months and I feel amazing! I use to be very very shy and I used alcohol to overcome that, it was my social lubricant, as it is for many people. It eventually became something that I always associated with any social event or gathering. Instead of sitting with the discomfort I felt in social situations and attempting to overcome it naturally, alcohol allowed me to skip the work and head straight to the finish line. 

With this realization I wanted to prove to myself that the REAL, unaltered me is enough. That I can enjoy any experience sober just as much as I would with alcohol, if not more. I also needed to accept that if not drinking means being more of an introvert then thats okay. Plus, my hangovers were brutal! They would effect my entire day and of course my overall health. Now I am much clearer, I never miss out on anything because I’m too hungover, and my body is much happier.

I have a much different experience whenever I’m in a social environment now and I actually prefer it. I can really take everything in, feel everything, I can trust my judgment, and see everything for what it really is.

What is your favorite book right now?

Right now I am reading a book called ‘Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance’ by Angela Duckworth. She’s a psychologist that has  been studying how your grit, your ability to push through and persevere, has more to do with your success than talent or luck. I highly recommend it…here’s a link to her TED Talk

Next on the list is ‘Waking Up’ by Sam Harris

Tell us about your morning routine.

It’s pretty extensive but the most important. I’m a morning person so I’ll wake up around 5:30/6 every morning.

1.Coffee first….always. I’ll throw some coconut oil in there and blend it (of which I usually have to do it outside so as to not wake the roommates).

2. Journal for 20-30 minutes. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. It’s usually just stream of consciousness and sometimes it’s surprising the things that come up. It’s extremely helpful in allowing me observe my thoughts and be a bit more in tune with how I’m feeling that day.

3. Read for 15-20 minutes. If I could I would read before bed but I would only get a page in before passing out. I love reading and morning is when I’m best at absorbing new information.

4. Meditation for 10 minutes. I’d like to up this time to twenty minutes but I’m not quite there yet. Here is where I set my intention for the day to be kind and patient with myself.

5. I was doing yoga after this but now I’ve taken to jumping into work (which I do from home) after meditation and save the yoga for around Noon when it’s time for me to move and shake things up.

I encourage everyone to find something that works for them. Even if your morning routine is just taking a 10 minute walk around the block. You’ll realize that something as simple as allowing time for yourself first thing in the morning will increase your productivity and provide balance in your life.

Photographer: Heather Jackson

Talk about what you would like to see for the future of river surfing.

I would like to see more waves built in urban environments. There are so many positive effects a surf wave can have on a city or town. It brings awareness to local waterways; people tend to care more about something that they use for recreation. These parks connect people to nature and to each other. Almost all of the friends I have now I’ve met because of the river I’ve found that nothing brings people closer than the water. River waves boost economy and offers opportunity to host events. The list goes on and on.

From this I hope to see a ripple effect. Once people connect to one river they become aware of all rivers and will then do their best to protect them. This is my hope for the world of river surfing is that our focus always remains on protecting the thing that has enriched our lives in more ways than we could have ever imagined. Water changes everything, water IS everything! 

For more BP visit her website and follow her on Instagram @bp.surfs

Photographer: Heather Jackson

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