How long can spring continue to drag out? Or should I ask, how long will winters' grip continue to stretch into spring leaving us with day after day of rain, snow, wind, cold and just a rare fleeting blink of sun? The usual trails are hit and miss on their dryness, which has forced my hand to instead grab the handlebars and grind gravel. Mile after mile of...... "scenic" township roads. Don't get me wrong, I love riding in rural Clark County, but this is that elongated "in-between" season, where most of life has not returned yet I long to see green coming back and wildflowers blooming. This image is not picturesque in the least, or a great photograph, but if I had to illustrate what these rides are like this time of year, I think the picture I made expresses it well.
The escape from Wisconsin's cold damp spring was made, off to San Diego California for the Team USA Special Olympics training camp. To catch up, the camp is the first chance for all coaches and World Games Athletes to finally meet, after months of email and phone calls for training. As first time head coach, I was nervous, but hopeful that I could do the best job possible for the athletes. I commented more than once, that I was amazed by how quickly all 49 athletes and 15 staff (for the track team), came together as a team...as a family. Adversity helps to be sure-changes of schedule, bus breakdowns etc. We just have the best team, so many great athletes and a top notch staff-our trip to Athens next June should go just great and I'm happy to be doing this trip with all of them.
This is usually a photography web site, but this time around I was seldom a photographer. I did manage to snap a few images and these are some of my favorites. I think they capture some of the personalities we have on the team, for people, are the most important thing of all in Special Olympics.
Sam Moku- World Games Coach
We trained at San Diego State University, a beauty track located ontop of a parking ramp...okay, and surrounded by palm trees. Sam is from Hawaii and one coach I was so anxious to meet...according to other coaches who know him. He is an excellent track coach, and just as important, a great Special Olympics coach. Our personalities meshed well and he will become a great friend. This shot just shows, in one instant, his joyful personality. I look forward to working with him again in June.
This shot is from the last day of training-and one that illustrates about every level of athletic ability. Pictured here are some of the fastest sprinters I have ever seen and some of the most developmental Walk racers. One of the kindest athletes and one of the most talkative and patience grabbing. But...we are all family and they are great.
Does a portrait have to show a face? I don't think so. This is Doug, a quiet, unassuming person who has great knowledge of track and of athletes and who made my job so much easier. Maybe one of the best things was just talking between workouts or on the bus or at the game about little things-just getting to know each other. I like this shot-his hands say a lot, they are caring and strong. The garb is typical Special Olympics Coach...everything that is needed and nothing more.
A pretty simple photograph I know, but like the previous, I think it can tell a story. Craig is a SO coach from Ill, with a lot of experience in track and with special needs. Again, he tends to have everything he needs and little more and knows on track and off what is best for the athletes. I know we'll become closer the more schedule changes we face and the more buses break down.