Polar Bear Swim

Captain Bob would like to remind everyone of the Polar Bear Swim on New Year's Day. The "big jump" will happen at the Mon Wharf at 9:30; get there a bit early to sign the book and get psyched up. Committed so far are Bob, Carolyn N., and Jonathan. Rumor has it that they plan to jump in wearing Paddlefish shirts and carrying paddles...

We plan to get some breakfast after the big freeze; not sure where yet. Suggestions are welcome!


Am(h)azing new members...

The Pfreshist Pfish and latest addition to the roster - Jenny - officially became the most hard-core dragonboater this week:
Not, however, by virtue of any crazy-fast erg work or inspirational lifting - although there was definitely evidence of that. Rather the brave girl wore her name-sign
(© Rich Smith) to the post-practice drinks on Thursday...Kudos to you, Jenny!
and to all those guys in the bar - no, you probably haven't met, and yes, that's really her name, but no, it doesn't mean you stand a chance :)


Downhill Crunches and Team Motivation Speech

Coach Ben gives one of his classic motivational speeches, followed by a quick demonstration of how all our ab work can lead to really fast downhill crunch times.


UK Dragon Boat Coach Wins Award

From the UK, birthplace of such distinctive sports as cricket, curling, and croquet, comes a delightful recognition of dragon boat racing as a serious sport. See this article the British Dragon Boat Racing Association site:

"John Griffiths, GB Premier Women’s Dragon Boat Team Coach has been awarded "The Coaching Hall of Fame: Mussabini Medal" by Sports Coach UK for his contribution to dragon boat racing as a high performance coach to the GB Women. This is a significant achievement for John and the sport and shows that we are now being finally considered as a serious sport by the rest of the sporting fraternity."
(Lisa, thanks for the news tip!)


Proud Paddlefish Parents

Dick and Laurie would like you all to know that the youngest Paddlefish has just been accepted to Hamilton College! Hamilton doesn't have a dragon boat team at the moment....but who knows what will happen during the next four years. We are proud of you Kate--Congratulations!!!!


Something New in the New Year

News from Pam: on Tuesday, January 2nd, Lesley Davenport, a certified Pilates instructor, will come to teach us a class in Pilates. She will be able to help us use our muscles more effectively especially when doing the core exercises. She will do two sessions so half of the group can work on the ergs. Please bring a mat if you have one.


It Takes a Damn Good Team!

The TRRA annual campaign, It Takes A Team, is just two weeks from the finish line. The Paddlefish have done an absolutely incredible job of jumping on the boat and paddling this campaign toward a winning finish -- currently, over 30% of the participants in the campaign are Paddlefish!

Think about that. Overall, we make up a relatively small percentage of the TRRA membership and program participant numbers, but when it comes to moving TRRA forward, we're there in force. We ARE the engine room!

So huge congratulations to everyone who has participated (85+% of the Pfish have already turned in pledges). You're great!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Congratulations to Jill Markl, who won this afternoon's drawing for the $100 shopping spree at the TRRA crew shop! Jill's the captain of the women's Masters Team at TRRA (and the source of the cool Water Women tee shirts you may have seen around the boat house!).


An Early Stocking Stuffer

What do you get for the Pfish who has everything? Easy access to the training schedule, that's what!

On the left sidebar, you'll see a new section called Training Information. This means you won't have to rummage through your e-mail inbox to find the latest workout schedule -- just point your web browser to the team blog and voila.

Happy Holidays from your blog moderators. :)


We have other hobbies, really.

As evidence that we Paddlefish have interests beyond paddling and pancakes, I give you this:

Last Saturday, several of us attended a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert at Heinz Hall. On the menu, er, program, was the gracious and talented Joshua Bell (the gentleman pictured here in the middle of a Sarah-and-Carolyn sandwich).

Many thanks to our PSO connection, Jonathan, who not only provided the tickets, but gamely watched his girlfriend moon over the dreamy violin superstar!


It Takes a Team

Some time this week, you should receive a letter at home from TRRA encouraging you to help us reach our goal of 100% member participation in this year’s annual campaign: It Takes A Team. The letters have gone out to everyone, even those who have already made a pledge or sent in their contributions. Rich and I want to give a very special thanks to the many Paddlefish who have pledged so far: we’re halfway to our goal of 100% Pfish Participation! (Hoo-rah!, as Captain Bob would say!)

If you haven’t had a chance to send in your contribution, please take advantage of how easy it is to do so. You can contribute through the United Way at work (#9237), by sending in a check in the postage-paid envelope enclosed in the letter you received this week, or by paying online at http://www.threeriversrowing.org/AnnualCampaign_2006.htm . The focus here truly is on teamwork: it’s far more important to have 40 Paddlefish pledges to the campaign than it is to have one whopping big dollar amount. (That said, if your tax accountant is telling you that a whopping big charitable contribution would be a really good thing for you to consider, please feel free to think about writing a generous check for the annual campaign!)

The campaign ends at the end of this month, but anyone who makes a pledge by December 15th is automatically entered in the random drawing for a $100 gift certificate to be used at the TRRA Crew Shop. If you’ve already made a pledge but aren’t sure Rich and I know, please give us a heads up so we can guarantee you’ll be in the drawing!


Happy Birthday, Rich!


You know you're a Hardcore Dragon Boater when...

Spotted on Paddlesup.ca this morning...

Top ten signs that you're a Hardcore Dragon Boater

My personal favorite:
No. 3 You argue with a 90 year old lady who is sitting in the middle of the bus, claiming that you always sit in the 'engine room'.


VO2 Max Testing on December 16th

Just a quick note to let you all mark your calendars: on Saturday, December 16th, Paula from MetaFitness will be conducting VO2 max tests on the paddle ergs for the bargain price of $55. Packages for follow-up testing will also be available, as well as discounted heart rate monitors. Stay tuned for a sign-up sheet and more information.

For more info on the whole VO2 max concept, click here.