A week ago was the Guelph Marlins Aquatic Club annual banquet.
I have been part of the club for 7 years now and it was my first banquet. Somehow I manage to miss them every year until this last one and I regret that.
What a wonderful party!
Why? you may ask.
Well, to start I will say what it wasn’t:
It was not pretentious. It wasn’t a big banquet where everybody dress up, (even when many of us did) everything is timed, has an agenda, where there are speeches that important people get to give and you get the same kind of food in every one of them.
What this banquet really was:
This was a swimmers party!
Organized by parents of swimmers, with a structure but no specific agenda, with entertainment provided by the people there, specially the little kids 7-8 years old cracking simple and cute jokes on the microphone some of them really fantastic ... maybe not because of the joke but because who said them.
Food? Salad and pasta. carbs for swimmers that will be at the pool right at the next morning spending over two hours of very intense excersise.
Speeches short and to the point: Recognizing the individual efforts and successes over the past season, only to come to the realization that this team has a great amount of very talented, incredible fit, amazingly strong young and not so young athletes.
Everything was very casual and relaxed, just the way I think I can enjoy more now.
When I spoke, I was in need to turn the attention not only to the swimmers that as I said are truly amazing, but also to the people that actually helps that “amazingness” to come to light: The coaches.
Without them we wouldn’t be able to do anything we do the way we do it.
We wouldn’t be able to learn as fast as we do, we probably would stop trying at a crucial point, we wouldn’t know what we need to do to get better... but beyond all that we wouldn’t have those exact words on the precise moment be able to achieve our goals.
Coaches often (specially for young athletes but in general) are the drivers of our emotions when competing and training. And good coaches know this very well.
I am thankful that once again (and even a year later) I got to be in front of an audience and say thanks to Kendra, my coach for the lake Ontario crossing. Without her coolness, the tone in her voice and her words on the most difficult hours of that August 10-11, 2010 night while swimming at 9 to 11 degrees celsius, I know I just would not be able to continue. If I did it was because of her words.
I didn’t say it that night but there are some other people that have a role as important as the coaches in anyone success but that will be another story.