Team effort – a heartfelt thank you

Hello All – I am writing all of you who sponsored me, as well as my team members themselves, in the Seattle Swim 2011 race.  I really appreciate your collective support this year.  A few highlights first:

  • Our team started less than 2 weeks ago with $1,500 raised to date.  We finished as one of the top 3 fund raising teams at nearly $20k.
  • In its 3rd year, the Seattle event had an 80%+ increase in participants to over 250 swimmers this year, up from 140 last year.  More importantly, fund raising to fight cancer increased north of 90% this year to over $260,000.

Teams are fun, teamwork is even better

The event was held on Saturday morning, Septemeber 10, and it was a beautiful day in Seattle over over 80 degrees.  Since I have never been a competitive swimmer, I will have to fall back to a different sports analogy.  A long time ago for a single brief quarter in college, I rowed.  I don’t profess to be a rower, as there are some on this email list who would take offense because they put in the time for 4 years or more (most especially my wife).  But I learned something about the sport and came to appreciate its nuances in at least some small way that fall quarter on the Connecticut River near Hanover, NH.
As in life, much of the time in the 8 person shell is spent without all 8 oars and the associated rowers working together.  One oar is hitting the water early, a few are coming out late, and the boat moves disjointedly along its path, tipping side to side to the frustration of everyone.  And then sometimes you personally “catch a crab”, where the entire boat with all its momentum torques around an oar pinned to your own rib cage, knocking the wind out of you or worse.  We all know what that feels like in different ways.  But you get up each morning keep at it, day after day, for a very few special times when everything is in sync, when everyone is working together, where on each perfectly timed stroke you can feel that boat nearly lift out of the water as the coxswain calls the cadence.  It is a rare and special fleeting few moments, but it always is worth all it took to get there.  Those are the times when the boat sings.
I want to especially thank my team members for Seattle Swim 2011, pictured above just before our swim as the sun was rising.  For the 10 days up to and including the race, everyone worked together.  We had some well attended final open water training swims the Friday before (total darkness as the days get shorter) and the Monday of Labor Day weekend.  Folks worked every day on what they could do to help push the total we were collectively raising for the Cancer Care Alliance.  We had late joiners, 2 milers and 1/2 milers, people sending out words of encouragement, swimmers who normally don’t like fundraising smoking their own keyboards with emails to friends and relatives.  And when we all met at Starbucks very early Saturday morning and later went into the water together, there was a real sense of accomplishment as a team, of having done something good in all of our busy lives.  So for all you members of Team TBD and all of you sponsors out there, a very personal and heartfelt thank you from me.  Because during a brief 10 day span at the beginning of September, I could feel the boat sing.  Rob
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