The Rookie's Graduation

I find that every time I try something new, the nerves kick in from every angle. Will I be good at it? Will it be hard, fun, scary, insanely cool? And most importantly, will I be able to keep up with the pace? Joining the Healers was no exception. The level of nerves was especially increased when I had had almost a year of someone building up the team's awesome reputation (ahem, Louise, ahem). So although I had been to quite a few practices over the last three months, and even though I was finally starting to get an idea of what Ross and Lawrence have been talking about this whole time, the week before Paragon Point seemed like a never ending stream of nerves.: "Race day was here already? No way. There was no way. I've only been paddling for a few months. A ton of these paddlers have been doing this for YEARS. I'm still a newbie... a rookie still learning the ins and outs of the Dragon."... And these were just the thoughts the night before the race. The minute Louise and I pulled up to the race site and I saw the lake, and the tents and the teams, I had a to keep a constant stream of the mantra "oh boy...keep cool Taylor." If it hadn't been for Kathy giving me something to do by passing out the team's wrist bands, I might have gone a little crazy. 

Then something pretty amazing happened. Louise reminded me that I needed my wrist band, and put it on for me. All cheesy-ness aside, that's when I snapped out of it and remembered that I was here as a Healer, ready to race, ready to win. Next thing I knew, we were gearing up and stretching for the first race. I had the amazing experience of racing five times that day, and every single time, the seconds before they called that start, the nerves were gone and a feeling of excitement and determination took over. And at the end of the day, not only did we paddle our hearts out, but we took first place!!! So in short, Paragon Point was the ultimate graduation from rookie status on the team. Bring it on Long Beach! 

-Taylor