“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” ~Theodor Seuss Geisel
Well to be honest, I’m not sure why I’ve been selected to write a coach’s farewell, for in my heart - I have not left. Distance or time, does not lessen my love for the Space Dragons and what we stand for. I have always been amazed by how this team has grown and yet has kept the essence of what hooked me to the sport in the first place.
When I first decided to start paddling, I just wanted to come out and supplement my running workouts. My first thought about paddling was this is crazy! Warps? Powers? Starts? Finishes? Really? Does this workout REALLY need all these? I stuck it out and, during the inaugural/infamous Circle of Love, I realized that this team not only wanted to win badly, but was going to have fun doing it. While running away from the Po-Po, that night, I realized that the team meant more to me than simply a weekly workout (Yep! they were only weekly back then) The team, rather, took on the role as a social network of fun, love, support, and good-natured competition. This is and always will be our greatest challenge, managing the delicate balance between fun and competitiveness.
All you newbies there only is 1 COMMAND you absolutely HAVE TO FOLLOW and that is to have fun. Paddling should be fun at all times. Don't let anyone take that away from you. The competitiveness will come - and it should be internally driven. Until then, go out there, let loose, and have fun!
For the vets, I know most of you want that bling bling…but to me, success is knowing that: I gave it my all, that my teammates have my back, and that I have no regrets. All of this mean so much more than any pretty misapeled coasters. Winning is all well and good, but it’s the journey that takes you there is what is worth remembering.
I was once asked if I see myself hanging out with my SD friends 5 years from now. Not only do I see myself doing that, I hope to grow old and grey with them. In 2010 and beyond, I look forward to continued growth in the team, the love the team has for each other, and the ever expanding blog readership. I think the webmaster last year did a fairly decent job (and was quite handsome - if I don’t say so myself!), and has since been replaced by someone awesomer!
So go out there, work hard, have fun, and realize that any day on the water is a good day. Do it now, while we can, because some things are fleeting....including our health and our lives.