A Perspective From a Little Drummer Girl

When I was asked to drum for one of the races my first reaction was, “Noooooo! What if I’m out of synch with the paddlers!”. As I sat behind the drum for the first time my fears were a bit elevated because the drum was not tightly fastened to its post and when we first pushed off I was sure that I would be going into the water. My compensation was to hang on with both hands and knees. Then the basket dropped and we shot out of the gate. Although hanging on was still a priority I was now engaged in yelling the cadence along with everyone else, for the entire race, and until the steerer calmly said, “Let it ride”. A race well done, we all relaxed.

I wish every paddler could experience what I saw and felt from that perspective. All faces showed concentration, intensity and determination. Every paddle was going into the water at the same time and all were buried. It was exhilarating and enlivening to see the team as absolutely one body.

My second time at drumming was comfortable because the drum was secure but the race was no less rousing. Fantastic job for all of our paddlers and we strongly thank the leadership at the top, Ross and Kathy, for coaching, pushing and guiding us through a weekend of excitement.

I also have to mention the camaraderie of our teammates. This is a group that is inclusive of all members, shows kindness, generosity and is able to laugh, tease and enjoy each other’s company. I feel so very lucky to be included.

See you on the water,

Marilyn Massa