Monday, July 28, 2008


This is the back of my jersey. I hope everybody gets a good long look at it on the lake.
Do I look scared? The hardest part is leaving the kids' sunscreen out next to their sandals, hoping that it actually gets on them even though I'll be gone for 10 days. Or is it maybe knowing of course it will, and I'm not so indispensable after all. That must be why I found myself re-caulking the tub and sorting through doll stockings today.

If you can stand my fuzzy pictures, and if I can figure out how to load them from Stepbrother Jack's computer, I'll try chronicling. Feel free to say "Hi," "You can do it," or "Holy crap, whaddya do that for?" Just click on the comments button. The only reason I'm getting on that ferry tomorrow morning is because I told you I would. Otherwise, I'd chicken out. Oh, I guess there's another reason: paddling is fun.

Roseburg, OR
5:45am Atwell blessed my paddle
charms upon calm wood
Ben and I took turns holding it
How was practice?

Folsom, CA
flu shoots pains through arms, legs, back, neck
headache, stomachache
crashed in brother's guest bed..ahhhhhhh
(paddle under my pillow)
read Becky's entries, saw Stephanie's pictures
sweated happiness--THANK YOU!!!!!
Good luck on Huli Nite!!!
(don't forget your cameras)

Make New Friends but Keep the Old day

Ben with Denver friends Ken Lorig and Daniel Geisler

first practice on beautiful Natoma Lake
lanes perfectly straight, markers every few feet
like a lane line
water perfect; actually had to dodge swimmers
they tried me in stroke and seat 2, then seriously schooled me--I'll probably never be at the front of a boat again and am relieved about it
an inter-club canoe has six different cues for paddles up ("let her run" just never makes me want to stop...)


falling in love with these rudderless canoes
lane lines rock--wish life had those
folks are really starting to show up now
had a VERY short conversation in Italian
shook hands with a Tahitian...tried to get a picture but flustered (blush)

met up with teammates from Tricities
paddled HARD at practice (they are fast--I don't think I trained hard enough to keep up with them, but it's too late now)

out for pizza after the parade
they gave me a unity necklace

let's not go on and on about Tahiti
but they were so COOL during the parade with their chants and songs, must've been about 200--strong force, even on pavement
gives us all chills in Sacramento heat

a few more parade shots


PNW-ORCA Miss Lummi Stommish Shirley Johnson

watched New Zealand practice
was so spellbound, couldn't run for my camera
would be a waste to try and capture how they move
pop, pop, pop, pop, pop at the start for about 100m (at least six switches)
then BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! for the rest until the turns, which are like rollercoasters, then back to pop, pop, pop at the end

conversed in French with paddlers at the outlet mall
who suggested a trade for my jersey avec le beau desin
they want to give me one of theirs
you'll never guess where they're from...
I suppose you'll know when I walk up
(it's not France)

my race schedule tomorrow is:
(put an "ish" on all these times)
11am 1500m Open Women V-6
1pm 1000m Master Women V-6
4pm 500m Open Women V-1


Here's Autumn Rose 16 & Under, our first race of the day
spoke French, dreamt French
(the loudspeaker is constant French all day long)
had one German conversation

paddling???!!! Oh you want to know about paddling...
1000m Master Women V-6 (Tricities +me) earned a repechage (means "speed up again" or do-over)
first single race went well--did not come in last but
dropped out of the pack in the last 200m.
let's call that good, because no one
checked their watches

keep sending the love; it works!!

PNW's new cheer: "Don't come in last!"
no other way to describe how fast these
Tahitians, Kiwis, and New Caledonians are
you gotta see it

broke my own singles record with a 2:56
did a happy hoot dance in front of the
results postings, crowd thought
they were watching The Price is Right

(photo by Gary Bertram)
had to change my flight because
two of my races have advanced
I'll be missing you so much at Shaw
darn it (but hooray)

spoke more German today than I have since 1993,
feels like shaking a third of my brain out

Happy Birthday Darling Husband!!!
the girls tell me you're the best
and how lucky I am
you bend the curve

focussed on video today and will continue to
get as much of that as I can because it'll be
good to have a medley of champion strokes to watch
when I get back home
let me know if you want to come over; I'll make popcorn

passed on the Devil's Club necklace
to a veteran paddler with Peruvian ancestors
also descended from Tahiti's king, he said
for once the French came out like a dream
and the love circled in four kapunas' kisses

(photo by Gary Bertram)
paddled in a v-12 with all the Autumn Rose women
who chanted Lummi and we went by the call
(hupdelelele) ONE! TWO! And somewhere out in the
middle something magic happened
and we dozen were one heart
fierce with war, paddles chugging like a
freight train crossed with
a herd of wild stallions charging, water
thumping under our hooves
mightiest corporeal fusion I've ever felt
and we advanced to the finals
we'll be racing for medals on Saturday


raced 500m MW v-6 repechage
raced 1000m MW v-6 repechage
advanced to semi-finals
came in 8th place
we're gr8
fell asleep three times during dinner

one last race
my favorite
v-12 OW 500m FINAL
then I'm coming home
if you see my Mother-in-law Vonnie
give her a clap on the back
for making gluten-dairy-soy-free dinners
and holding babies every time I was at sea
she's the champion


Anonymous said...

Safe travels and best of luck! You will do just fine because you have the whole team routing for you in spirit!!
Denyse Davis

Amy Lou Harold said...

Thank you, Denyse. All a person has to do is look at those awesome photos out at Roche Harbor and MAN!! How awesome is THAT!!!!??? We're so blessed!!!

Let me know how the drill goes tonight....

Anonymous said...

Amy, noooo! The sprints start on Monday? Please, you know what you need to do! Take good care of yourself, you've got a few days! We will miss you tonight and send healing thoughts your way!
"The heat is ON! Go for the GOLD!"

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was me above!

Amy Lou Harold said...

Hey, Becky!!
Boy do I miss you guys!! Paddling's not even half as fun anywhere else but Puget Sound North.

Did you guys end up doing the Huli drill?? What was that like??

Becky Volk said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experience! Can't wait to hear more about the rest of the "Paddling World"!
We ended up NOT huli-ing on Thurs. It was cold and rainy, we only sent our 1 canoe and Dan on the single. We went over to Turn this time! David wanted more participation/spectatorship to make the demonstration worthwhile. I agree, but I psyched myself up ALL day for it! Maybe this week? It's supposed to be near 80 - woohoo! Keep the pics coming, we're all proud of you! Hope it works for you to come to Shaw and add to the campfire stories!

Amy Lou Harold said...

Dear Becky! I just love your comments/notes. Silly, but I feel sooooooo alone down here. Paddling is just plain wrong without you guys.

Are you having that nice weather, after all? Maybe huli tomorrow? If so, let me know all about it. Did you go around Turn Pt? Why did I have that impression...? You must be practicing distances now.

As for making it to Shaw: we'll see. I'm surprised how many events they signed me up for. looks like nine at this point. Everytime I show up, there's something different, changed, new, and unexpected afoot.

Somebody has to tell Butch his blessings rock. I would be in tears if I could hear him gave one now...

Amy Lou Harold said...

wish we could go back and edit: L,

and you told be about Turn...that's how I knew...duh
time for bed!

Anonymous said...

Go for it Amy! We are all so proud of you... you are respresenting us all.. Go get it girl. Much love, Liz

Amy Lou Harold said...

Dear, dear Liz!!!
I'm taking those words with me this morning. THANK YOU

Becky Volk said...

Dear Amy,

YOU GO GIRL!! We'll miss you at Shaw, but... Like I said before: What an experience! Soak up what you can from these races, it's gotta last you 2 years! See if you can't pick some Tahitian or Kiwi brain for us, bring home some new techniques! Enjoy the rest of your time. We're ALL rooting for you and you haven't left us! Keep sending updates, love'em!!!

Anonymous said...

Go Girl! I have loved reading your comments, it almost feels like we are there, except for the heat, you can keep the heat. We'll all want more stories, in English, no French or German please. Eat them up. Love and hugs, Martha

Amy Lou Harold said...

Tahitian coaches told me:
every day from the age of 5 on,
two hours paddling in the morning,
running and land drills for lunch,
two hours paddling in afternoon,
paddling should be every island's national sport, after all.

The fastest people hardly look like their working at all. Their body barely moves.

Did you guys do the huli drill tonight?

Amy Lou Harold said...