What a day it has been. . .

Coaching is a game of highs and lows.

Today began last night, when my partner & I hosted the women’s team at our house for dinner and heard a bit of news that’s been on our mind since then.

This morning we were up early, and took our team as well as two launches to Vancouver Lake to put in the racecourse there. Around 1400 small buoys get clipped to seven two-kilometer long lengths of cable over the course of three and a half hours– part fundraiser, part community service. We take great pride in doing it well and the course looks fantastic. There is something hypnotic about the lengths of small buoys stretching off over the flat water; it makes me itch for racing.

Back to Portland, launches back in, home for a quick shower and lunch.

Up to the office for about an hour and then to hitch up the shell trailer, only to get a huge flat on our rented truck. Lucky for me Novice Men’s coach Max was there and helped me get it changed in a timely manner.

Down to the boathouse for practice where we had a wonderful row that left me very excited for tomorrow. Had to run while others supervised loading the trailer to make it to Les Schwab before they closed– fantastic folks as always got our tire fixed so we can have a spare for the drive tomorrow.

Finally home, but this whole time my thoughts have been on the news from last night; that one of our team members was in the hospital with appendicitis. Another teammate spent most of last night in the ER with her and Novice Woman’s coach Meghann has been up there since we got back from the lake this morning. She had successful surgery a short time ago and I’ll be headed up there in an hour or so along with many others on the team once she’s awake and can have visitors.

The low today was contemplating a member of our team struck from proud and strong athlete to patient; everything else we did seemed very unimportant in comparison. The high has been the people I’m fortunate enough to be around every day; athletes, friends, coaches, colleagues. The level of competence, care, concern, and the quality of everything we’ve done this day has been tremendous.

I am fortunate indeed, and there’s no other group of people I’d rather travel to race with tomorrow. Although I’m very excited to see how we do, our thoughts will be always to the south, and thinking of our teammate and hoping she’ll be joining us again soon.

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