“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Calvin Coolidge
I had the pleasure and privilege of competing in the Del Mar Powerhouse Paddleboard Race today. Fun surf, gorgeous beach, just the right cloud cover and a solid field of athletes and an amazing group of human beings . All the proceeds went to kids aquatic programs in inner city sd and north county, Ymca, Boys and Girls Club and Community learn to swim programs.
The grassy hillside overlooking the beach was the perfect venue to connect post race with people young and old who showed up, put it on the line or people who showed up to support someone or the cause. From former Ironman World Champions like Greg Welch and Scott Tinley to eternal age group warrior super stars like the Buckingham brothers, and all sorts of folks of varying abilities, including scores of pre-teens just learning the crafts, the event had something to offer to everyone. I met Ryan, age 11 who was born with diabetes, now races all over the country and raises money for other kids with his disease.
As I was rehydrating (sipping on a delicious black coffee) and indulging in some post race nutrition (two cheese burgers on 1/2 a bun) I was filled with deep gratitude for how well my body served me in a race that was almost 5x longer than most of the paddleboard races I do. As I was taking a little child like delight in my victory in the 3 mi. open stock race, I noticed how everyone around me seemed to be beaming. I don’t smiling, I mean beaming. Kids, adults, people were laughing, smiling, chilling out, having fun. No bad attitudes, no complaining, just folks doing what they love, for all sorts of different reasons. I connected with people I trained with and hadn’t seen in over twenty years and also met some new comrades that I hope to see twenty years from now when we are still doing the Powerhouse Paddle. I met Ron, 56, recovering from back surgery and trying to ease his body back into motion, safely stretching his limits.
As some of you may know, 2011 has been a gigantic challenge for me, with far more adversity than planned or preferred. On the way to the race this morning, my last paddle race of 2011, when some of this blog came into genesis, I reflected on how I was in the process of coming out the other side of a fire storm. As sign of moving forward, I decided to dedicate my race today to my successful survival of a difficult year. I wanted to find the right words that would capture my sentiment and would encourage people to hang in if they were themselves where in the middle of their own fire storm storm…. No catchy lines came to me but I do have a few anchors that made a real difference for me:
B Persistent, B Resilient , regularly press refresh in your view of your life and more than anything, surround yourself with happy, motivated, brave people like the ones I had the pleasure of engaging today in what ever activity you enjoy.
Keep Turning Corners and Never Ever Give Up,