So, I like to make a gratitude list for the past year. For me, it helps to put things in perspective and to remember how great life really is. Seeing as the focus of Attackpoint is orienteering, I figured I could put my orienteering-related gratitude list on here.
So, here it goes:
-A healthy body that can not only run, but responds positively to training.
-A sport that helps me to connect with nature and myself.
-Teammates and friends Ross and Sam (and Hillary) who were so kind in putting me up and putting up with me in their Sweden home for a week while I worked in town and wandered around Nåsten.
-Teammate and friends Alex and Ed for opening up their space to my friend Juanma and me (twice!)
-Teammates and friends Boris, Cristina, Eric, Alex, Ian, Ross, Sam, and Ken for providing senior leadership and moral support. JWOCs, team meetings, getting stuff done in general. It is honestly difficult for me to explain how much they've helped me and others.
-Alex for giving me her banquet ticket to sneak me into the WOC banquet. We can say Alex has earned some serious props this year.
-Such a beautiful history of orienteering in the US. This is only driven home after browsing through the digitized volumes of ONA. Everyone in those magazines has laid the groundwork for a really amazing community and sport in this country. Our small numbers don't really matter to me in this sense because it just means its more impressive that so few have been able to accomplish so much.
-Everyone involved in making the World Cups and WOC '93 happen. I get constant questions about Surebridge while in Europe and I can proudly say "Yes, I have run there. It is a damn good area for a World Championship."
-Anyone who makes maps. This needs no explanation.
-Everyone who set SUCH GREAT courses at the Classic Champs and NAOC. Joe Brautigam, Alar Ruutopold, Niels Lyng-Olsen, Glen Tryson, Linda Kohn.
-And that reminds me. Damn, Linda Kohn. You are a beast of a volunteer! I get overwhelmed thinking about how much you do for us.
-Everyone who works to make the senior team happen. There are so many people behind the scenes that I really do not know. But you're out there, and you guys are stars.
-My coach, Ben Roberts. Ben believed in me enough to coach me when I was ready to give up on competing as an elite orienteer back in the fall of 2014. He saw potential in me I didn't see in myself and pushed me to work towards self-realization while providing wise guidance. The fact that someone believed in me enough to coach me was and continues to be such a huge help.
-Everyone who donates to the team and OUSA. Also, people who do fundraisers for the team. What! So much energy! That is amazing! You guys are so selfless. The show would not go on without you.
-My parents who support me in every way in this strange endeavor. They even put up with my constant blathering about courses and maps. They may just earn champs of the year.
-Eric Weyman. He's provided me with so much navigational wisdom tested through years of competition, mapping, and general orienteering mastery. I hope to someday live up to his Australia World Cup finish. Alas, most of us are mere mortals.
-Becky and Ed for putting on our Team Trials in some great terrain. And Ed for making a map in like a day and a half. WHAT!?
-Peter Gagarin. The Corn Maze champs. Wow. Absolute bliss through intense navigational focus.
-The road trip I got to have with Will and Juanma between the Classic Champs and NAOC. I learned so much. I also learned that humans can't survive on Nature Valley bars for 36 hours. Wisdom to remember.
-The kindness of Bubo for letting me stay with him during WOC. It would not have been possible otherwise. Thank you for teaching me un poco svenska also. Most of it has fallen out of use. But I will get back to using it!
(This list is getting long. Oh well!)
-Lindsay and Christopher...and Finnegan. The spicy food, the bed, and the swim in Lake Ontario came at the perfect time.
-My jog through the woods with Monsieur Gueorgiou, as well as the time spent with him outside of competition. A world-class dude in so many ways.
-My Spanish training buddies, Luisma, Rorri, Richi, Andreu, Antonio, Pau, Edu, Luis Sánchez, Manu, El Pichonarro, Cosme, Carlos, Milvaques, Jorge. These guys have become like brothers to me. While in the future we will live in different places, these are guys that I know I can meet up with and pick up right where we left off. Truly valuable relationships.
-Thumb compasses. So simple, yet so useful.
-Lidar data, nothing short of a revolutionary change in orienteering. Excited to see where this goes.
-Alberto's house in Peguerinos and Alberto's guidance. Two things that have pushed me towards better navigation.
-Luisma when he drove all the way out to Peguerinos so just he and I could do a night-o. This was two years ago but whatevs.
-Bekele and his produce shop in Peguerinos. Such healthy food for so cheap. And then he'd give me like ten peaches for free just because!
-Senior DVOA leadership. The first names that come to mind are Sandy and Clem, but so many others have been involved. Would I have even started orienteering without them?
-When Ali Crocker directed the reporter towards me at NAOC. I realized then that I really need to work on how I do interviews. A chance to improve.
-Nature...and the really interesting, delightful, mesmerizing terrain that it can create for us and everything on the Earth.
-Ben and Franchi for so many dinners and opening their home so often to me. My Madrid Centro Crew