Today is a great day. My coaching world takes over. And that is what the day is all about. It is the EARC "Eastern" Sprints Regatta, my favorite of the year and the culmination of the Freshman rowing and racing season. Fortunately, the timing of my chemo puts Sunday on the upswing and I will enjoy how I feel this day a lot more than I would have Friday or Saturday.
As great a day as it is, at the same time, it is a nostalgic day and one for reflection mixed in with the joy. After their last day with me, I know I will miss the Freshmen I have come to see as my team, but it is time for them to move on. Even more so, though, today, I feel the loss of my colleague, my mentor, my friend, Harry Parker who was instrumental in allowing me to coach at Harvard all these years. Race day, today especially, was always a big day for him. He succumbed to Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) last June after coaching through two years of treatment and on some days it was and is incredible how he carried on. He was a strong man and I am not alone in saying how much I miss him.