by Shauna Halferty – Jericho
I’m home sweet home and getting back into the swing of school. I try to concentrate but I think I’m still in shock of what we just accomplished. Think about what we just did together- I know this isn’t the first time for all of us but it is a pretty amazing feat.
This race definitely has changed my life, and the physical, mental and emotional limits I have put on myself and on people in general. We have all trained very hard to build our bodies into paddling machines; early mornings, solos, the gym, cold water changes, you name it, pushing ourselves and each other to be the best we can be.
I was prepared for the physical aspect and I knew I had to be mentally focused- (As a wise, and large I gather, Hawaiian told Teresa and Gung-Ho “It’s all up here” tapping the head). I thought I was ready and all I had to do was race. That day changed the way I think about outrigger and about what we as people can do and overcome, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I am fairly new to this sport and to athletics in general, I have never experienced the emotion, the overwhelming emotion of love and support that I felt and still feel from all you girls, and I thank you for that. Keskula- You are a machine, and I know with your determination you’ll go where you want to go. Karen- you smarty pants with the huge lats(we newbies did it!). Sabrina- you are so focused and thoughtful- with studying and paddling, awesome. Miss Bell- you’re friendship and warmth and laughter have been a true happiness in my life. Jenn, I’m so glad to have had your strength in the boat and cheerful support- thanks also to Ken who supported you. Wendy- you tough cookie! Your bruises truly prove the dedication necessary in this sport- thank you for your work organizing over the year and your little pushes of encouragement to me- I felt them. Colleen- your experience and leadership is greatly appreciated, your calm and spiritual side has woke me up and thank you so much for your faith in me race morning! Sandra- you are amazing- your indispensable energy and positive encouragement are inspiring. Your children are very lucky. T- your words are always thoughtful and full of insight, thank you so much for your calm and soothing visualizations, advice and physical dedication you are an inspiration and I can see firsthand, a good mother.
I now know that paddling is about more than the sport, the training and the physical aspect, I think that the big wise Hawaiian might have sent the message clearer if he had said- “It’s all in here” (tapping the heart)
Thanks to all of you and hope to see you all soon, my family,