Western education 2013

Monday, July 4, 2011

.... Canadian Dragon Boat Nationals - Welland Ontario 2011

.... and to think... it was just a mere 12 months ago when I could barely walk a block and not be in excruciating pain with every step.  Yesterday, my team ROWBUST stood on the podium and accepted our GOLD medals.  It has been a painstaking and dedicated year to go from barely moving to moving a boat with 19 other paddlers to take the Nationals for women's Breast Cancer Survivor division (BCS) with a GOLD medal win in three official races - 200m, 500m and a 2K.

I am still in pain every day and usually find that sleep, when it finally comes, comes in the wee hours of the morning and fails to be restful.  My journey through chemo still affects my every day activities and I push through it will an iron will and determination that has marked so many of my life's journey.  This past weekend is a testament to the iron wills and the love and passion that my team mates have for each other, their families, to strangers and to other competitors.  I am truly blessed!!!!

Our 2K race by far was the most amazing in that we were the 6th boat to start in a 10 second staggered start with our nemesis Toronto team pulling out ahead of us.  The horn went for us, we pulled out and we were passing the Toronto team when the paddles clashed as their boat veered close to our boat in its bid to take the inside lane to which they were waved off by the refs in pursuit of the race.  Sarah held her stern firm and guided us into the first turn ahead of the Toronto team and gaining on the Hamilton BCS team leaving them both behind mere meters into the straightaway.  The Toronto team pushed hard but their race is the short sprint and they soon fell behind while we surged ahead to pass another boat before the second turn.  We might have started in 6th place but we finished in second right behind the Premier women's team and ahead of another woman's team.... if we had only had another 50 meters, we would have placed 1st!!  We won the preliminary 500m, the final 500m, the 2K final and placed second in the preliminary and final 200m.  Watch out next year Toronto!!!!

We all felt bad for the Toronto team with their paid professional coaches who treated them quite poorly and spoke down to them with harsh words and a condescending attitude so it was karmic (but sad) to see that their coach who was steering, slipped and disqualified the team within meters of the finish line in the 500m finals.  The buzz amongst all of the other teams in the area was about the poor behavior of the team's coaches... we were next door and had to listen to the constant dressing down of the team members, some of who had paddled with our Rowbust members in Whistler last year - the first year the BCS were allowed to compete at the Nationals.  All in all, when the last race was run, Rowbust disembarked and made a paddle salute for all the competing BCS members to pass under and receive hugs and hand slaps as they formed their own Salute!!!  What an incredible weekend.

I actually spoiled myself on a shopping trip in one of the busiest outlet mall in Welland... which was conveniently next door to our hotel.  I purchased a lovely white shirt and casual pants.  At the NIKE store, I bought a great pair of NIKE runners and the ipod-NIKE gear to interface with my iPod nano.  The employees were amazing there!!  They all gathered around when I took out my new nano touch screen and allowed me to interface it with the unit prior to purchase - they thought it wouldn't work but we got it up and running.  It turns out that my shoes and unit cost me a whopping $100 - saving me over half the cost of retail!!!  I purchase a pair of winter jogging tights - yes, I will try to jog to increase my stamina.

Soon I will become a published columnist with a quarterly magazine.  I get to write about the technology and the toys I have the time to play with these days.  I am certainly hoping that I get that playbook I want so badly!!

William went on his flight this morning to Calgary and will take another flight out close to where my sister lives... he will be there for 3 weeks working on my sister's farm.  I stood in the parking lot of the airport and watched his plane take off at 7 this morning... my baby is all grown up.  I just stood there in the early morning light watching it disappear into the horizon and wishing my baby a safe trip.  I love you  William and yes, I will miss you terribly. xoxoxo  The other kids are getting up which signifies the beginning of our vacation after a long weekend of work!!!

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