Jeremy Rodgers is a sponsored paddler for the US Canoe and Kayak Team, and a Colorado-based chiropractor, to boot. While his big water kayaking has given him an appreciation for the outdoors, he has shown commitment to the environment by living as green a lifestyle as he can and by traveling as green has he can: in a repurposed 2006 diesel-run van or his “Ultimate Multisport Van,” which is fully solar- and wind-powered and whose wind turbine he flies as “proudly as the American flag.” In the latest of our Q&As with green athletes, Jeremy tells us why athletes have a responsibility towards the environmental movements and why all adventures require a woman’s companionship.
SIERRA: What came first: Your chiropractic practice, your athletics, or your commitment to the environment?
JR: Growing up in Oklahoma, football and wrestling were king. Wrestling taught me many life lessons about discipline and balance that I attribute a lot of my success as a big water kayaker.
Environmental awareness was a distant thought to me growing up in the heart of the energy belt, where "if you can afford it, you have a right to consume it" This was the environmental attitude that defined the early 90's in the Midwest.
Much has changed, and I'm proud of my home state of Oklahoma for acceptance of local environmentalism. Where are your favorite places to paddle?
Every continent has jewel river basins that teach us the history of that country's own ecosystem, but if I had to commit to one place that makes the list of kayaker's best natural wonders, I'd put that place as Pacuare Canyon, Costa Rica with Southern Chile's Patagonia in a close second.
How did your commitment to green vehicles evolve--especially considering that it's not directly paddle-related?