I sent the following letter to the members of 3DayTweepsChicago this morning. Now that they have had a chance to settle with the news, I feel the need to share it with all of my Pink People.
Dear Amazing 3Day Tweeps (of the Chicago variety) ~
This is a tough email to write; exciting and sad at the same time.
Number One: After a great deal of contemplation, discussion, research and soul-searching, Matt and I have decided to continue our relationship with The 3Day and we WILL be walking in a fall event. (More on that decision in an upcoming blog post.)
Meanwhile, I have had to face a very difficult decision about Chicago. As many of you know, about a year ago, I began to row crew after decades of longing to give it a try. It has become a very important part of my life. It turns out that the Masters' National Rowing Championships are the same weekend as the Chicago 3Day. Rowing is a new passion in my life, and one which I expect I will be "too old" for within a few short years. Not too old to row, but too old to compete at the level that I currently am capable of. Furthermore, the National Masters' moves each year. Last year was in Oklahoma, next year might be in California. But THIS YEAR it will be in Worcester, MA, only an hour from my own rowing club. I have struggled with "deserting" my Tweeps, but in the end, I really have to push myself and give this rowing thing everything I've got.
A friend wrote this, but it could have been my words:
Rowing. For me, it's the challenge of giving up "self" for a greater good. The powerful experience of the blade cutting into the surface of the water. the movement of the boat. The drive to improve. The pure bliss of a perfect stroke. The humbling reality of a crab. The laughter, the love, the support and caring for one another...The desire to push myself further than what is expected for a sport with the smallest crowds and the least number of wins....and after it is all said and done, to get up, weary and bruised to the bone and do it again and again and again because someday all that will be left is the passion and the desire because the bones will be done, the body finished and the gift of movement will be a distant memory. So for today, I row because I can.
Sounds a lot like walking the 3day, doesn't it?? I am really sad not to share Chicago with the 3DayTweeps, but I feel like I need to do this. The 3Day - and all of you - will still be there next year. I am delighted, though, to be able to tell you that you will be in very good hands. Laura (@ldavis1800) and Julie (@knittingbagel) have agreed to co-captain the team. I had been feeling that the team would be best served with a crew-based captain and a walker-based one, and I am simply delighted that these two incredible Pink People will be heading this team! You couldn’t hope for more dedicated and loving care.
I'm going to be so sad that weekend that I can't be in two places, but you know that my heart will be. I hope you will send me lots of tweets and pictures. I know that the power of Pink will make my boat fly in those races.
love and more love.
Lauri ~ @60milegirl
And just in case any of you are deciding you need to add another city to your roster, Matt and I will be walking in Philly in October, seeing you there would be FANTASTIC.