Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taking our time to the finish line

I was in my first-ever race today. It was a canoe relay race. I roped a few people into doing it with me, including my sister.

As we waited for our canoe to come in from the first leg, we watched other teams' transitions. They were trying to go as fast as they could, rushing in and out of boats and getting wet in the process. "No need to hurry like that," we reminded each other. "We don't want to risk getting our feet wet. We'll just take our time."

"And also, no apologizing," I told my sister, reminding her of an article she read a while back that said women apologize too much. "If we screw up, we screw up. No need to be all apologetic about it. If we apologize by mistake, we have to follow it by saying 'I rock!'" (This is a technique a school is using to help girls feel less apologetic.)

"Let's not go crazy at the beginning," my sister added. "We have to go five miles. We should save our strength and take it nice and slow."

We followed all of our own advice. During our hour-plus canoe, we passed one boat. They had veered off course and got stuck in the bushes on the side of the river. A few minutes later, they passed us.

At the end of our leg, there was a bridge filled with people. I was getting tired, so I was glad there would be someone to cheer for us. But as we got closer, they kept quiet. "Hey, you guys are supposed to be cheering," I told them. They complied.

"We're going to run into the bridge," my sister said from behind me. "You're talking to them instead of following my instructions."

"Sorry," I replied. "I rock!"

I think my family is not very competitive.  Maybe we should stick to recreational paddling.

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