Saturday, October 5, 2013

John Wayne or Olympian?

The anticipation grows.
The training increases.
The U.S. Gondola Nationals are now three weeks away.

Gondoliers in numerous operations ask themselves:
- How will I match up?
- Who will I be competing against?
- Are they ready?
- Am I ready?

Then, just to be sure, another workout ensues.
This is the Olympian approach.

 Other gondoliers are taking the John Wayne approach:
"I'll just walk into the room and shoot from the hip".
Little or no training - just an "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it" mentality.
After all, we are gondoliers, aren't we?  Shouldn't we already have what we  need to compete?
Often times being a gondolier requires being ready for anything.
Tonight, for instance:
The "Santa Ana winds" kicked up this evening in southern California.
Some of my guys left dock under normal conditions, only to see the winds shift mid-cruise and get downright unruly.  Gotta be ready when this stuff happens.

Whether it's Olympian or John Wayne, every gondolier who plans to compete, makes the most out of every on-the-water opportunity.
I've got one gondolier who's been seen rowing his normal one hour route twice in an hour. As long as the passengers are happy, I'm ok with that.

One of my friends from another operation told me that he wasn't competing at all, but that he'd be there representing the "drinking contingent" of his servizio.
I laughed out loud.
If there WERE a drinking competition, I'm quite certain there would be some world class competitors in a group of gondoliers.

Three weeks.
Get ready.
It's gonna be great!

Go to the website,
U.S. Gondola Nationals
print out the entry form,
send it in with your check (the cost is minimal),
and then jump on your gondola and decide if you're:
John Wayne or an Olympian.