"So Now I've Won a Medal" 

It was the very last race of the entire season for our Red Crew.  Our last race on the 2nd day of a 2-day weekend extravaganza called the San Francisco International  Dragonboat Festival held at Treasure Island the first weekend of this past October.  Our Golden Grail.  This is what we worked extra hard for all season.  The other two competitions were practice for this.  This was It! Ready or not, choppy water, deeper water, wind, nerves, whatever. Here we are. 
And everybody  else is here too. Teams from everywhere. Even China. 
We placed 4th in our seeding and semifinal races against some tough teams.  I thought we were done.  But wait!  There's more!  The consolation races! What?  One more time.  One last race.  One last chance.  We were up against the other 4th, 5th and 6th place finishers of our division and WE CAME IN FIRST!!! 
We won a First Place Medal at The 2008 San Francisco International Dragonboat Festival. What?  It was a consolation race but it was a solid first place finish, and I have a very pretty, very colorful, very shiny medal to prove it!!!   
I didn't know I could do it.  Didn't think I could last all day.  Even after all the preparation, the caffeine, the vitamins, protein and prayer.  I  begged everyone I knew to work that weekend for me.  I had done pushups and sit-ups.(I hate pushups and sit-ups.) I even had the personal trainer I had at that time develop some specific exercises for me for better rotation and core strength. 
That day, my little sister, her boyfriend and three of my very good friends braved the windy overcast near rainy weather to come and see me in this new sport I'm doing.  They yelled and cheered us on - I didn't hear them.  I'm focused.  I'm paddlin'.  I'm winning! 
Then it hit me. I have a medal.  Guess I can't quit now, can I? " You have just passed the 'trying it out' stage ".
Shoot!  I'm just gettin' started! 
Barb.