Mighty Girls – strong and powerful.

Ginny Thrasher 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist

Ginny Thrasher, 2016 Rio Olympics Gold Medalist in Sports Shooting, photo from “A Mighty Girl” website.

Have you noticed lately there is a push toward “girl power?” A few months ago I started following “A Mighty Girl” on Facebook. They are a great resource for girls of all ages on being strong, confident and courageous.

The website shares all sorts of books, movies, TV resources featuring girls/women who have made a difference in their lives, community and/or the world. When I was young we didn’t have a special resource like this. What a wonderful website for girls!

As I follow “A Mighty Girl” on Facebook, I am pleasantly surprised by their inspiring posts every day. Share this website with young girls/women you know.

TODAY their message was really special. They honored Ginny Thrasher, a nineteen-year-old American sports shooter from Virginia, who won the FIRST GOLD MEDAL of the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 10 meter air rifle competition. I got lucky and I happened to turn on the Olympics during the shooting competitions, so I saw Ms. Thrasher in action. It takes a lot of concentration to win, especially when the crowd, instead of being silent, was loud and started clapping, which is distracting…. BUT she kept her FOCUS and finished with a 10.9 beating two-time medalist Li Du of China.

The story gets better. Ginny Thrasher only took up this shooting sport five years ago and was ranked 23 in the world as she entered the Olympics and not favored to win gold. Clearly she has a special skill and her passion and determination brought her the GOLD medal. She’s a sophomore at West Virgina University and became the first freshman ever in history to win the NCAA individual air rifle titles.

2016 Rio Olympic history was made!  Another Mighty Girl was revealed.

Congratulations Ginny Thrasher, we’re PROUD of you!!  Go Team U.S.A.!

My First Race – Dragon Boat Racing

IMG_3594I heard a team captain say they were “short” one woman to be able to form a team for the Dragon Boat races that were coming up, so I shyly raised my hand.  DONE – I was part of the team!

Our day started at 5 AM on Saturday. We had to drive to the location, set up and prepare for the day’s events. A group got there before us and set up our tents. We all brought food for a pot luck and stored our bags, paddle, etc.  FYI: Never forget your towel and change of clothes. You do get wet, it’s fun, but not if you can’t change your clothes on a cold day.

IMG_3601When we practice we do not have a dragon head on our boat, so I was curious to see how this would look.  I didn’t realize that there is a real drum on the boat too. For those of you who do not know much about dragon boat racing I’ll fill you in. There are 20 paddlers to a boat. The first two paddlers at the front of the boat are called, “the strokes,” they set the pace for the boat.

The drummer uses the drum to set the pace of the strokes, so this person must have a loud voice for all of us to hear. When we are paddling it’s easy to get distracted by the boats next to us and their drum beats. I also learned that you lose time if you look up to see “how” you are doing in the race, best to stay focused and give your strokes ALL you’ve got. Finally, there is the steerperson at the back of the boat, who steers the boat and also gives IMG_3609commands to the paddlers. Here is a glossary of Dragon Boat terms.

We raced about 500 meters in 2.5 minutes. There were four boats racing at once and it took a little time to get us ALL lined up. I know 2.5 minutes might not seem long, but imagine how you feel when you are doing “planks” at the gym. You start out strong and then your arms get tired and it takes everything you’ve got to keep in the plank position. Same with paddling, you force yourself to continue paddling through the pain and finish STRONG. That’s where the drum beat comes in, it keeps the team focused.

BAD NEWS – We didn’t win!

GOOD NEWS – We had a lot of fun, we worked as a team and after our 3rd time out, we improved our time, and we finished STRONG!  It was a great day!   GO TRY IT!