The title sort of says it all, but let me explain:
After reflecting briefly on the recent inaugural Dragon Boat Races produced by the beneficiary, The Junior League of Tuscaloosa, I couldn’t help put into perspective its impact and other such events regularly have on my life. It is fun to travel the country to produce and manage dragon boat events, but there is much more to it than blowing into town, doing work and then hitting the next stop on the tour. Relationships are made, goals are met and success stories born.
In the case of Tuscaloosa, I started talking with the all-female organization for several months before they signed a contract and hired me for various services, including promotion, team management, race logistics, boat rental and steerer/coaching expertise. I worked with a chair, co-chair and various subcommittee chairs to implement this first-year race. From site visit to race day, it was as if we followed some pre-arranged path to complete all the minute details and tasks to meet or exceed our collective expectations. From the feedback I heard, the answer was overwhelmingly a score! That makes us all happy.
I replay the good times from practices and race day over and over in my mind, from working with an incredible group of people to coaching fun teams, including the Hampton Inn (Team Hampt-On It!) paddlers and their sweatbands, wristband, high socks and endless energy. There was the drummer who looked like Jack Sparrow I saw in the ladies restroom, sure I’d stepped into the wrong door, and I can’t forget steering in the final races. Early in the day, I told Sarah no one should allowed in the marshaling area, except paddlers and she said, “OK, I’m going to plant a big pregnant chick there.” Two minutes later, there was a very pregnant woman and two other women making sure only paddlers entered. It was funny!
Everything fell right into place on race day, exhibiting our hard work in a flow of ease and excitement. We did it – together, in the same innate manner dragon boat racing itself bonds a team. We had a blast, cleaned up, laughed, hugged, left town, reviewed memories of the experience and pondered the wonderment of years to come with the client, the community, the fundraising, every advantage the event has to offer that we all embraced. We’ll be back to do it all over again! What a lucky dragon boat life!