Maeve for Council: The Decision

September 10, 2014

For most of this year I’ve been exploring the possibility of running for council. Today, I’ve got my answer.

In 2001, I joined Putney Town Rowing Club on the Thames in London. I was living near the river and knew I’d be heading back to Canada soon so I took the opportunity to learn how to row.

There is little more empowering than navigating a busy river under your own steam in a single scull. There is little more magical than being the first to cut a path through a calm river on a crisp autumn morning, sun rising, mist clearing, with commuter traffic humming along each bridge your boat quietly passes under. There is little more physically demanding than knocking 5 seconds off your best 2000m race pace.

I was addicted immediately.

A year after I took my first stroke, I entered the British Rowing Championships. It’s the biggest annual race in the country. People who succeed in this event move on to the Olympic team.

I’d trained two sessions a day every Saturday and Sunday for six months. I was in the best shape of my life and was training with a competitive crew at another rowing club.

When I arrived at the national event, I realized I was out of my element. I’d only been racing in small competitions on the river. This was a six-lane affair, just like the Olympics, with athletes who had been competing for years. I had so much more to learn before I could be a contender. I came third in my first race and was out of the competition. I learned that being prepared is what it takes to win, but I also knew what to expect the next time I raced.

I’ve thought a lot about that experience in my decision to run for council. I’ve weighed the cost of lack of preparation vs. the benefit of gaining campaign and council experience. I leaned towards the latter until recently when I decided not to run…and then changed my mind.

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2 comments

  1. Bravo Maeve and we know when the Run For it decision is made, you will be so ready and we will be there cheering you on .btw loved the rowing bits!!!

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