Milestones Change Everything Part 1

Let’s see, the last post I had was on May 19, 2013. It is now October 25, 2013. Sorry folks! Life caught up to me a bit but I am trying to be back in action!

What do I mean by milestones? In earlier posts I suppose milestones included 18th birthdays, graduations and cars. For those of you who didn’t know already I took a year off following High School to earn some money and figure out what it is that I wanted to do with my life. I worked three jobs at one point last year, I worked as an educator at a retail store in the mall, I worked as an AfterSchool recreation leader and as a private swim instructor. I guess the main reason why I never posted too much last year was because I was just working…not really much else. Finally, I applied to two Universities and got into both! Then I began my move out to Nova Scotia and the start of my coaching job for the season. Really nothing changed from the year before so I figured it didn’t make much sense to rewrite what you already knew.

Alright, so the summer: I once again found myself in Sackville, NS as the Head coach of the Atom Boys & Girls Program. Rather than coaching just girls like the year before I had the gut-wrenching thrill of coaching boys too. Mad respect for school teachers. On top of this, they changed the age categories for racing groups so I had an extra year of kids on top of what was already a packed group of athletes. This extra year happened to also be “that” year…you know…the one where they’re changing and stuff? Kids have got stuff going on in their lives and boy did I ever get the brunt of it this summer. Having tubs of ice cream and kleenex on site was really helpful.

Fast forward to what I think was the highlight of my summer. Being a coach I never really thought of going back into competition, mainly because I was convinced that my body couldn’t handle it anymore (multiple surgeries seemed to be a message from the Gods to stop). But maybe it wasn’t. Maybe all of those challenges were exactly what I needed to realize that heck yes! I can race in a Junior Women’s War Canoe this year, I’m feeling better than ever! The girls were racing at the Qualifying event and needed another in the boat. Our War Canoe coach had two choices, an 9-year old girl (who I am sure would have done wonderfully as she was coached by me…hehehehe) or me, an “old dog” as he referred to my racing experience jokingly. So he picked me, and 500m later and several grunting and painful noises and sounds later we came off with a never before 3rd place and a shoe-in at Nationals to be held in Montreal, QC. This is where my passion was reignited. What seemed to be practices headed for absolutely nowhere (our group had a few motivational issues) I figured I was just going to practice to be an extra body in the boat. Lo and behold, a few weeks later I was packing up the car with three others and driving to Montreal. Being a coach of the younger category I’ll admit I kept my distance from the U13s and U16s, mainly because at times it got overwhelming. But that trip to Montreal changed my life in a way I never thought it would. I am the type of person who is in it to win, I’m not about to go out and race knowing that we didn’t put it all out there in both practices and in races. And yes, the 500m Juvenile felt pretty bad. But it was during our 500m Junior race when I looked around and saw how much we just proved our worth and our small town club. We placed 4th. We were 0.03 seconds from a bronze medal. I wasn’t even disappointed, I threw my paddle down, had the biggest smile on my face because we knew, we all knew that someone from another club was going to get fired:)

Following our Nationals excitement it was time to get back to the reality. We were all going back to or starting school. I had a definite mental breakdown in my room the night before leaving. Was University even what I wanted? Had I been feeding myself a line this whole time? My heart wasn’t even in it and I wasn’t even in my dorm yet.

Nationals 204-2

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