Thursday, August 9, 2018

Roller Coasters, Champions, and a Caring Community

For those who stopped by and commented on either post last week, thank you for your kind words, encouragement, prayers, and positive thoughts!

If you haven't heard - my husband is back on his feet and going strong again!

Our family went to Oklahoma City for the 2018 Flatwater Sprint Canoe and Kayak Nationals held by the ACA (American Canoe Association) and hosted by the Oklahoma City Canoe and Kayak Club in the Boathouse District (an incredibly nice area in OKC).

We had a roller coaster week, with my husband going into the hospital the night before the races started and staying there for about 40 hours. I had a cot in his room the first night, but the second night he felt much better so I managed to get some sleep in our hotel. Our daughters (17 and 19) both competed in all of their races and I was able to watch most of them, although I missed a few and I missed some of their award ceremonies.

Our family's team, the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team, is one of the bigger teams in the country despite the fact that we operate out of a public park and off a public dock in a harbor on the Puget Sound (cold salt water). The largest canoe and kayak team is Lanier Canoe and Kayak from Georgia, the team who holds the record for winning the most National Championships.

We had a five-year winning streak, then took second to Lanier Canoe and Kayak last year, and this year - we won again! 

But, what really mattered the most to me this week isn't having my daughters on a winning team. What I loved most this last week is that my daughters are on a caring team and are part of a caring community. I had countless offers of help, prayers, and kind thoughts from our team members and from other teams (specifically, OKC and Bellingham).

And, likewise, I had a caring team of people through the Insecure Writer's Support Group who offered up prayers and encouraging thoughts. Thank you!

To top off the week, my youngest daughter made the team for the 2018 Olympic Hopes Regatta* in Poland. The Nationals competition is the qualifying event for the OHR team and for the Pan-american Regatta in the fall. 28 athletes ranging from 15-17 years of age will represent Team USA at OHR and I admit I'm not sure of the number of athletes going to the Pan-american Regatta (at least a dozen). In addition to that, eleven athletes competing at Nationals had just come home from Bulgaria where they competed in the Junior and U23 World Championship Regatta. (Junior World competitors are 19 and under and U23 means athletes 23 and under.)

*BTW, Olympic Hopes is not the Olympics. Olympic Hopes is a yearly international competition for athletes 15-17.

Again, I'm thankful for the amazing community of people we've been able to meet in this sport. If you like water sports, then I highly encourage you to find a Flatwater Sprint Canoe and Kayak team near you, or check out the ACA website for more options.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's amazing and a blessing all the way around! Will you be going to Poland with her?

CWMartin said...

I was in a kayak for the first time a couple weeks back. Takeaways: 1- Fun! 2- I prolly won't fall in. 3- bring a cushion.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Oh Tyrean - I'm so pleased for you ... great your husband is improving and that despite his setback your girls were able to compete, and you saw some of the races - congratulations on their win. Amazing she's going to Poland - that will be extraordinary ... brilliant news.

Excellent to know everyone was rooting for you all ... and yes this community is pretty amazing too ... take care and cheers Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's wonderful you had so much support and prayers. Congrats to your daughters.

Heather R. Holden said...

So sorry your husband had to be hospitalized during a time like that, but I'm glad to hear he is doing better now. And a caring community is so important, for sure, so that's awesome how your daughters' team has proven to be exactly that.

And how exciting about the Olympic Hopes Regatta. Many congrats to your youngest daughter!

Mark Noce said...

So glad that things are slowly getting back to normal for you once again:)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - yes, I'll be going, too!

CW - great takeaways! Some sprint athletes use plastic bags over their seats so there's more slide for leg drive (they push with their feet against the foot-board to put their whole body behind each paddle stroke).

Hilary - Thanks!

Diane - Thank you!

Heather - Yes, it's been a roller coaster. Thanks!

Mark - me, too. I don't know if "normal" is ever truly normal around here, but we have more normal moments. :)