Top: The certificate/award. Bottom: Steve and I with one of our YMCA head coaches, Lori Duffy, at the 2004 Sentinel Triathlon. This race was one of the greatest that I've ever experienced. Lori inspired and coached me on my first and only Ironman distance triathlon.
This is going to sound like I'm bragging, totally not my intent. I just want to share with ya'll an honor that I received from some volunteer work that I've done for the Presidio YMCA. To be honest it was a little embarrasing to receive the honor, especially when I was congratulated by folks who have given more of their time. However there's no turning it down either. Oh alright I'll take the free dinner and award.
Early 2003, I was injured training for a couple of ultra-marathon races; the American River 50-Miler and the Miwok 100K. Not wanting to just sit around I joined the YMCA's Triathlon program. It was a three month program which culminated in a laid back, non-competitive sprint distance triathlon (short) in the summer. Well at that point I knew how to tread water and I had a mountain bike. Both activities didn't aggravate my injury and besides I already had the stamina of a horse...okay maybe a pony. How hard could it be? Well it was hard enough, learning how to swim properly was the greatest challenge but boy did I love it. There was great camaraderie in our group, we had excellent coaches and I enjoyed the workouts. I even ditched my mountain bike and forked up the money for a proper road bike. It was such a great experience I signed up for the next session, this time the goal was to finish an Olympic distance triathlon in the fall, so called because it's the distance utilized in the olympics: 1.5 Kilometer Swim ( .9 Miles), 40 Kilometer Bike ( 24 Miles), and a 10 Kilometer Run( 6.2 Miles). Loved it, I was hooked.
So naturally when the program restarted in 2004 and they asked me to be a mentor for the Sprint program I was more than willing. Again I continued on to the Olympic program and they moved me up to assistant coach. I said it then and I will say it again now, I didn't know enough to be anyone's assistant coach. However I was willing and a big fan of the program. I loved training with the other athletes and I was able to contribute in the area of running and keep up on the bike.
For 2005 they changed the format for the program which didn't suit me so I focused my attention on the new Run group. Same duties, being a mentor and an assistant coach, some weekends it was also "water stop boy". Another positive experience.
So based on those two years of volunteer work, my friend JoAnne submitted my name for the Volunteer of the Year award for the Presidio Branch. I agreed because I didn't think anything would come out of it. Seriously, where's the folks working with kids. But I did win. I got the news in January and the dinner/celebration was this past Friday. Each North Bay YMCA location had two honoree's, a teen and an adult volunteer. It was a great honor and everyone was so nice and congratulatory. I had to get up on stage with the other honored adult volunteers from the other branches, even got a certificate and everything. Nice.