Corona Diaries #25 Rush Sturges (Usa)
Outside, rivers are starting to flow and spring is around the corner, and the sun is shining high. Yet around the world, most of us are grounded at home and it seems like it could last another few weeks. Though difficult, let’s repeat it, folks this is THE THING TO DO! It is necessary and worth it!
So, we at Kayak Session decided to take the opportunity to catch up with our friends in the whitewater community and see how they are coping across the globe.
Today we talk with multi-talented whitewater legend, Rush Sturges, who is bringing the final touch to his latest movie the River Runner – a bio on Scott Lindgren, working on his next Hiphop album and is back in the game after a two-injury, paddling on a daily base, reaching the 80+ paddling days mark since the beginning of the year. Watch out, rumours go Rudy Rampage is back too…
« I am finishing up this new, 90-min feature documentary based on Scott Lindgren’s life titled The River Runner »
Where are you, and what is the situation like where you are?
I made the decision to leave my home in White Salmon, Washington to be with my family in Northern California. My family lives off the grid in a small town called Forks of Salmon, and it’s been a good opportunity to slow things down a bit and spend time with them. They also run Otter Bar Kayak School, which they had to cancel this year for the first time in 40 years due to COVID. As far as how the situation is unfolding here, it’s relatively chill compared to everywhere else in the world. We are close to five hours round trip to the nearest sizeable grocery store, so there’s not a lot of people in this area. That said, we are still being super cautious and following protocol.
Where did you travel from most recently? Has COVID-19 impacted your plans for the season?
Every single project I had planned this year is postponed or canceled. But I am finishing up this new, 90-min feature documentary based on Scott Lindgren’s life (formerly titled Legacy, now titled The River Runner). It’s basically done, but I’m trying to raise a little more money to finish it and get distribution. It’s a less than ideal time to be raising money for a kayak film, but it is what it is. I also have to remind myself that everyone is in the same boat right now (so to speak).
« After battling shoulder drama for two years, I think I’m finally on the other side of those injuries (…) I’m finally in a place where I’m starting to feel comfortable with hard paddling again. »
How are you maintaining fitness and your sanity? Can you get any exercise or paddle at all?
I’ve been lucky enough to be paddling almost every single day. Mostly solo or with my Dad and mostly on chill sections of whitewater. I’ve actually had one of my best seasons in a few years, with 80+ days on the water since New Year’s. After battling shoulder drama for two years, I think I’m finally on the other side of those injuries (knock on wood) thanks to a ton of gym time and rehab. I’m finally in a place where I’m starting to feel comfortable with hard paddling again. Overall, I feel super grateful to be in a good physical and mental space.
How do you spend most of your time?
I took the last two weeks off from editing « The River Runner. » But before that, I was putting in 10-15-hour days, every day for months on end, and only taking breaks for paddling sessions. This project has been all-consuming on so many levels, and I’ve definitely never taken on anything this weighted. « Chasing Niagara » was a beast in itself, but this film is different because it’s a biography film, and that’s unlike anything I’ve done. Although it’s been a ton of work and I’m starting to be pretty over it, it’s been a big learning lesson. In addition to that little project, I spend a lot of time doing admin, and I’m working on a lot of new music. We’re doing a mostly original soundtrack for the film, and I also have some new tracks I’m working on to prepare for my upcoming album, which I’ll try to release as close to the film as possible.
« Rudy Rampage here responding. I recently learned that I was exposed to the Corona Virus. I’m happy to report that the Virus is now in quarantine for the next two weeks. »
What are you watching or listening to right now? Any recommendations?
« Tiger King » seems to be sweeping the world by storm if you want a glimpse into the weird side of weird in America. Beyond that, some of the more interesting watches of the past year for me were the Netflix version of « Fyre Festival, » « One Child Nation, » « Honeyland, » and « Game Changers. »
Any words of wisdom for your fellow paddlers across the world?
I would just encourage people to stay safe. We’re all in this crisis together, and the more we can do to mitigate the risk of spread to others, the better off we are. It’s a confusing time, and there’s a lot of fear in the air, but I think if we all do our part, we will come out the other side of this thing much stronger. In the end, it’s going to make us feel that much more grateful for the time we get to spend on the river together.
Before you go… What is Rudy Rampage’s view over the Covid 19 situation?
Well. Rudy here responding. I recently learned that I was exposed to the Corona Virus. I’m happy to report that the Virus is now in quarantine for the next two weeks. 🙂