It’s scary when the heat is on in your hotel room and you’re leaving for dragon boat practices. HA!

It’s been balmy, windy, cloudy, creating choppy conditions on the water most of the evening. The last two practices were more difficult, but the teams I coached really enjoyed being tested. So, of course, I accommodated them.

I did something I’ve never done before in a dragon boat festival practice, and some might say it was a bold move. It was, but I had a good feeling about it. I let an Ocoee raft guide steer nearly the entire practice session for Lectrus Blazing Paddles. That Chattanooga Chop was a joke to him since he’s used to bigger waves. When he got back there he did say, “Wow, this is different.” The boat’s length and the thick 10-foot oar were different for him. But he knew exactly how to maneuver the oar without me saying a word. He did exceptionally well for a first time. Considering the water conditions, it was remarkable. It’s becoming easier to spot a natural. Ted, who arrived in town today and by the way, happens to be the brother of Chief Development Officer Betsy Chapin-Taylor, picked up steering as quickly and started steering in races faster than anyone I’ve seen or ever heard of, also. He has sailed all his life, so that helped!

It was a great day! A very special part of it was spending my lunch hour with my friend Kelli from high school, whom I’ve kept in touch with for the last decade or so. We haven’t seen each other for several months, and we managed to match our schedules today. That was nice. Very nice!

I’m getting spoiled with all these great people in my life. I’ve also become accustomed to having my friend Kathy, aka “Mini-Me,” and officially my Project Management Consultant, keep my head on straight, come up with some of these incredible ideas that make this event better, and preach at me when I need it. What a combo!

What will tomorrow bring? You probably won’t find out until Wednesday morning. I have to drive back home to Knoxville tomorrow for a luncheon where my attendance is required. So, my blog will be even later.

Till then,


Paddles Up!