29 days until the gun goes off and the race starts and this last weekend my team captain, Tim Murray, made the long drive down from St. Louis. We spent the weekend talking about how he’ll get me from Kansas City to St. Charles, looking at how we’ll pack the gear into the boat, and making some modifications to the cockpit to make it more comfortable. Notice I called HIM the captain. The more I thought about it the more I realized that all I’ll be doing is providing the power to move the boat. In addition to all my physical needs, they’ll have to keep me motivated and encouraged. I know I won’t believe them if they tell me I’m “looking good” so we’re putting together a list of encouraging and motivating phrases the ground crew can use. Things such as:
- “You appear gregarious.”
- “You’re looking better than the last time you slithered by.”
- “Brittney/Paris/Lindsey has just been indicted and won’t be in the news for the next 20 years.”
- “Where are your clothes/boat/common sense/lunch/left arm?”
- “You sure are pretty today.”
- “Those sunburn blisters bring out the color in your eyes.”
Still working on this list, so any suggestions will be welcomed by all.
Seriously, he and the rest of the ground crew will have to find their way from one small town to another (often at night), plan the food, meet me when I pull off the river, and take care of me. It’s a lot to ask of these guys and it shows what great friends they are that they’ll take a week out of their lives to help me accomplish this.
So Saturday, after I got off the lake from my morning paddle, we pulled the boat up into the breezeway at the apartments and got to work. We spent a lot of time fitting padding into the seat area and, while it doesn’t make the boat any faster, it’s a lot more comfortable. And that will be really important during those long days on the river.
Today we loaded it up on Tim’s car and, after church (prayers help, remember?), threw it in the Red River for a test drive on some moving water. I only went about 5.5 miles but it was fun padding through downtown Shreveport, and around the casino boats. Average speed was just over 4 MPH for the hour and some odd minutes but – it was SO COMFORTABLE. Tim’s been snapping his camera so below a sample of the paddling weekend.
On a serious note, we’re up to over $2,200 in pledges for Haiti. Can we make $3,000? And, we welcome two new members to the blog – and the navy. Welcome aboard, Mary and Jacob.
See you next week.