I’ve been so busy, I’ve had no time to blog…
We returned today from Wilmington, where the 16 teams racing had a blast.
A team I coached – Velocity Dragons/Lear won Gold and Silver with its two teams after clocking an amazing time of .53 in a 250-meter race. Their talent and the tidal current helped nudge them to that impressive time. They took me for quite a ride and beat their race day rivals – the Steel Dragons.
I think I had as much fun hoisting four of our dragon boats up using the huge marine lift at Bennett Brothers Yacht Club there. The lift operator and I had some great team work going to safely load the boats on our triple-axle trailer. I had to stay in the boats and push each one through the slings on the lift. I got to ride on the last boat on the way up – it was the only way to get me on land!
Other than hanging out with some of the greatest people from Pawleys Island, SC – cancer survivors who are part of a recreational dragon boat club team I’ve coached, or trained to steer over the last four years (which was a sweet reunion!) I also had the pleasure of having a fairly young soldier – Ivan – who was recently blinded in the war in Afghanistan – race with one of my teams on race day. The awesome dock volunteer, Bob Bilby of Myrtle Beach, and I helped Ivan into the boat, and then I gave Ivan a quick paddling lesson. He was one of the best paddlers I’ve seen! He’s very funny, with a sweet personality. He said to his friend who paddled next to him after we crossed the finish line: “You were really into it. I saw you going strong!” It proves no matter how much we get blinded – whether it be literally, or by our own doubts, fears and challenges, we have a choice in dealing with it. You can be bitter, or you can smile.