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Stuck On The Side Of The Road (with boats)

A guest post by John Leekley from WildGoose Rowing. This post is written mostly to thank the amazing people at Chatham Area Rowing in Savannah, GA, who helped me out by pulling our trailer off the highway and out of harms way.

I am the reason for Mike’s last post, The People of Rowing.  I am probably the reason for most of the non-family related stress in Mike’s life as well. I work for Mike, and like all coaches, I’m learning how to do my job and making a ton of mistakes on the way.  Mike gets the brunt of these.

I drove the truck and trailer south for the spring training trip this year, breaking down in Savannah, GA.  I had to leave the trailer on the side of the road and go with the tow-truck to get the truck fixed.  For the weekend and most of Monday I camped out at a hotel while the mechanic discovered one problem after another with my truck.

The biggest stress for me this weekend wasn’t the fact that my team was running on the beach instead of rowing, or that my truck was in the shop, or that I wasn’t at the beach after a winter of 80 inches of snow. It was that my trailer and all those shells was stuck on the shoulder on I-95.  I spent most of my waking hours trying to find a truck to rent or borrow, with no luck. (Why don’t they teach this stuff at the coach’s clinics?)

Then I found Chatham Area Rowing Association on Row2k and called them immediately.  They answered my call for help, giving up a practice to pull my trailer of the interstate and to the hotel where I was camped out.

One of the things that I have always loved about rowing, and one of the things that has kept me in the sport for 13 years, is the people.   Without people like Scott Nohejl, the head coach at CARA, the rowing community wouldn’t be what it is.

Rowing is a sport where people help people, whether they are rivals or competitors or friends or whatever.  I had never met Scott before cold-calling him Monday afternoon to beg for help.  He didn’t hesitate to answer my call, and his generosity saved my boats and maybe someone on the highway.

I, and my program, owe Scott and CARA a tremendous amount of gratitude.

Hopefully someday we’ll be able to repay it.

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