This time last year, I couldn't imagine we'd top the 2011 season. Our Open/Womens/Masters teams were starting to place in the finals, and we finally won our home tournament in Long Beach and made it into the Comp A finals at Treasure Island. You guys showed me how 2012 could be even better.
So what's the secret sauce? Good old fashioned hard work and dedication! One big difference in the last two years was that YOU were responsible for your own health and fitness. This includes all the cycling, triathlon training, running, lifting, crossfit and general cross training that everyone's been doing in addition to the Hell Weeks and Weekday Workouts. You motivated yourself to beat your last OC-2 time or made someone else your "carrot" to chase after. You pushed each other and raised the bar for the entire team. There were even some pretty impressive transformations in our new paddlers this year as they adopted a healthier and more active lifestyle. Our diversity is our strength. The Masters give us wisdom and experience, and the Spacenauts give us energy and enthusiasm. The 20's and 30's... we're the MUSCLE!! Just kidding. I'm not sure what we contribute, but there must be something. :P
We've got some challenges to look forward to next year. Space will be returning to Vancouver for the 25th anniversary of the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival in June. That will be our opportunity to see how we measure up against some of the best teams in North America. Also, if we choose to step up to the challenge, 2013 will bring the PDBA (Pacific Dragon Boat Association) Regional Championships, which is the gateway to the 2014 Club Crew World Championships in Italy.
So, take advantage of this time to rest and recharge. Do those things that you put off during the season (that's hiking, camping and fishing for me!). The pre-season starts Nov 3, and that's when we will work on technique and build up our endurance. By the time January rolls around, we'll be back in full swing, on the water rain or shine!
I want to close with a big THANK YOU! Each of you makes our (the coaches) lives easier by:
- Working hard both on the water and outside of practice.
- Having a good attitude when dealing with tournament "features" and the "luck of the draw."
- Supporting each other. Everyone participated in every race, whether on the boat, from the shore, or virtually via Spacebook!
- Trusting us. We may not be perfect, but we try our best (and please don't hesitate to let us know if you think of something we can do better).
Some KEY WORDS we relied on in 2012 to carry into 2013: TRUST, EXECUTION, FOCUS, LOOK INWARD, NEVER GIVE UP, EARN IT, NO REGRETS