Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The things we do for our kids...

Being a rowing dad isn’t all fun and games you know. Sometimes, we parents have to sacrifice ourselves for our children. Take this past weekend, at the Ontario Championships in Welland.

Those of you who follow this blog will know that my daughters, Kelly and Jaime have been having great summer seasons. And at the Ontarios, they continued their winning ways. Kelly won gold in the Under 17 Women’s singles event and picked up a bronze in the double with her partner Beth Harris. Meanwhile, Jaime won a bronze in her double, with her partner, Jenn Barkens, in the Under 19 Womens. But unfortunately for Jaime, her singles final was just 30 minutes after the double, and Jaime just missed a bronze, coming in fourth in the Under 23 Womens Lightweight category.

So what was my sacrifice, I can hear you asking? Well, Welland is unique among the local rowing venues in that a path runs along the entire two-kilometre course. That means that if you’re on a bicycle, you can ride from the start to the finish, watching every stroke. It’s a wonderful way to watch the race and for the first time, I took a bike with me on the weekend. I’ve never been able to watch an entire race like that. It was fascinating to see the determination and effort these kids put into this sport.

Over the course of the day, I rode back and forth from the boathouse area, to the course, down to the start and back to the finish. Over and over again. All on my seldom-used bicycle. As you might expect, by the end of the day, my legs were getting a bit sore, and I was not sitting quite as comfortably as I had been. But the races were exciting, and it sure seemed worth it.

Then I got in the van for the hour-long drive back to Hamilton, where Heather was arriving at the airport and was looking for a ride home. Everything seemed OK until I tried to get out of the van only to discover that my thighs were so sore I could barely walk. Things had stiffened up a lot during the drive home.

By the time we arrived back at the house, things were much worse. That evening I could barely move. I walked the dogs to the part, then worried that I might not be able to make it home. I could barely put one foot in front of the other! Fortunately, a lot of ice packs (and a few scotches) later, I was able to get some sleep. Sunday morning, we were all back at the regatta, but I left my bike at home. I sat in my chair on the side of the course and watched the races through binoculars this time.

This upcoming weekend, the kids have a weekend off, then on Tuesday, the Henley Regatta begins. It’s the ultimate event for the rowers and we’re all very excited. But perhaps the best part for all of us rowing dads is that there’s a bona fide grandstand at the finish, with seats and everything…what luxury!

I plan to post some links to the regatta pages when I know the girls’ final schedules, which should be later this week. And for those of you interested, you’ll be able to follow the results in near-real time on the website.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Proud Papa...Rowing Update

Any of you who have been following my posts here will already know that I’m the proud papa of a couple of talented young woman rowers. Well, now that the high school season is over, they’ve both moved on to club rowing this summer with Hamilton’s Leander Boat Club. This past weekend, Kelly Anne and Jaime both added to their hardware collections with great performances at the St. Catherine’s Invitational Regatta.

This two-day regatta is a warm-up for the upcoming Henley Regatta (Aug 3 – 9) one of the largest regattas in the world. (By the way, anyone interested can follow the results on the website during the regatta itself. I’ll be posting links to the girls’ events closer to the date they happen.)

Both Kelly and Jaime will be rowing at Henley for Leander. It’s Kelly’s first time. Last year, Jaime won two bronze medals. Needless to say, I’ll be in the grandstands, cheering like crazy. Watching your kids excel at something they love to do is very affirming for a parent. In fact, watching your kids do anything is pretty good…

This summer, Kelly and Jaime have been rowing in the single, double and quad events, although they specialize in the single and the double. On Saturday, Jaime (a lightweight) won a gold medal in her double with her partner, Jenn Barkens (a heavyweight). Guess which one is Jaime... Jaime also picked up a fourth place in her singles event. Kelly won gold in her single race, as well as finishing second with her doubles partner, Beth Harris. All in all, it was a very exciting weekend.

Next week, The RowOntario Championships are in Welland, then it’s time to get ready for the Henley’s. I guess you’ll be able to figure out what I’ll be doing on the weekend…

Thursday, July 15, 2004

You may be wondering...

...just what the heck I've been up to lately. Well, the Tour de France is on right now, and has been for almost two weeks. That's a lot of stuff happening. Then today, the British Open started. Of course, I had to pay attention. Plus, I've been building back stairs, driving kids around, burning discs to my new Mac...man, I've been busy!! So busy that I haven't been worrying too much about blogging. After all, it is summer, right?

Hope you're having a good one, despite the freakish weather that has been showing up across the country. Me, I spent today trying to get all the stuff on the basement floor out of harm's way. Last night Peterborough was hit by a freak storm and basements and streets flooded like crazy. It could happen here anytime, and if it did, we'd be in trouble. So for once, I thought maybe I should try to get ahead of the game...we'll see.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Taking a look at "spin"

Summer's here, and the blogging is spotty at best. I realize it's been awhile since the last Daily Upload. Maybe I need to think about changing the name of this blog! But what the heck...it's warm outside and while I might think about interesting stuff to put up, if I don't get around to it, I doubt any of you are going to complain too much. You're probably all too busy doing your own summertime things....

But here's something interesting. Since the election campaign wrapped up in Canada, our attention (and our media) is going to be increasingly dominated by the Presidential campaign of our southern neighbours. There's going to be a lot of stuff flowing around and it's going to be increasingly difficult for readers to separate fact from fiction.

That leads to an interesting question on just what "objective" journalism means and how we might need to redefine that term in today's information-rich, always-on, 24-hour news cycle world.

Here's an interesting story from the Columbia Journalism Review that sets up the issue. I relate to this as an old political reporter. But believe me, compared to the pressures that today's reporters are facing on the campaign trail, I look like I was living in another world, even though is was only 10 years ago!

Discussions about the role of the reporter in today's political environment is a fascinating area, and it's something I'm going to be keeping my own log on during the months ahead.