August 29, 2017
More than Metal: the rewards of Sprint Canoe & Kayak
Instead, more sparks. It isn't just medals that make me love this sport.
Andrew is my K2 partner this year. Together, as masters category paddlers racing against 20-year-old Juniors at CCAs, we experienced what it was like to get absolutely obliterated in the standings, yet feel full of pride for pushing hard and having the most solid races that we could. The CCAs were a spectacle beyond Andrew's expectations: having only done local B.C. racing circuit regattas for a few years now, he's never been to a competition that is 1,000 + competitors strong; never seen the sea of canoes and kayaks and the throngs of spectators crowding the finish line to watch The storied John W. Black race, or see the senior K4s blow through a 200 metre, or watch as nine C15 boats gasp for air as they heave across the finish line.
During his week, Andrew took all that in for the first time. He also spent much of his time finding old and new national team members and Olympians to talk to, take pictures with, and feel inspiration from their stories and advice. Andrew's enthusiasm for the whole experience was infectious, and reminded me of why I loved coming to CCA's past and present.
Thanks for that, Andrew.
It was Ydris.
Anna isn't sure where she will be in a year; she's entering grade 12, and as a high school senior, she has some decisions to make in the coming year about where she wants to do post-secondary, and how much paddling can or will play into that plan.
Thanks, friends (those named here, and many others), for your inspirations.