View Full Version : Mesa 2011 Spring Nationals...Thank You & Good Night!

Paul Smith
May 6th, 2011, 05:56 PM
After a week of tear down, getting sick, naps, getting back on deck coaching, writing reports, planning our next bid, preparing for our 4 day meet over Memorial Day weekend...I finally find a moment to write back to everyone who attended the meet in person or in spirit with a HUGE THANK YOU from Laura & I and Team Mesa for being such great guests and so supportive of our efforts!!!

To put things in a bit of perspective about 3 years ago Laura and I dissolved a successful sales agency we had run for many years based out of Colorado...the loss of Laura's father, sister and both of my parents in short period of time reset the priorities in our life so we sold about everything and moved into a one bedroom, 600 sq ft condo in Tempe we had bought a number of years ago so we could be closer to what family we had left.

We lived in semi-retirement for two weeks (no illusion of being able to retire at this point, just taking some time to evaluate everything) but soon had a number of great offers to get back into sales....the thought of spending 100+ days on the road again was not all that appealing but we went for it. All during this time we continued to volunteer our services coaching and helping some high school kids until mid July of 2009 when we were offered a chance to take over the masters program at the recently remodeled Kino Aquatic Center (this most came about after a "push" from our dear friend Ron Johnson who had started the first masters team there many years ago).

Although Laura and I had been involved with swimming on a limited coaching level (and competing) we had never actually run a club (or a meet)...so needless to say this was a daunting task even thought at that time the club had only 6 members (only two of who were paying) and a national Championship scheduled in 18 months! We finally agreed to give it our normal "6 month contract" as we do with most things (if one person wants out after 6 months we walk away no questions asked or regrets) and thought we'd give something (swimming) that has been a passion for most of our lives a shot as a part time career.

6 months later MAC Masters had 150 members and had become full time for me...and then the bomb dropped. Some departures at MAC's age group program led to Steve Hogen asking us if we would take that on as well (about 150 members)...we politely declined....3 times. On the 4th sales pitch we dove in head first and life has been what I'm sure living on the outer ring of a tornado feels like! Our first age group meet (we had hosted 1 masters meet at that point with about 80 swimmers) was the Regional Championships 8 weeks out...and our interim head coach resigned leaving Laura and I to extend our coaching to about 16 practices a week....ugghhhh!

So....a year and about 4 weeks after taking on what we saw was the impossible, hosting a total of about 6 meets (largest with just over 400), growing our organization to almost 500 members (age group and masters)...going through and unworldly learning curve...gathering the best possible coaches and support staff we could find around us and taking networking to a new level we both sat back last night and had a toast...we friggin pulled this off and our "team" of volunteers, coaches and support crews has shown that they are second to none!

Thanks again everyone,
Paul & Laura
The Road Not Taken

"TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

May 6th, 2011, 06:39 PM
Oh, you just drop this little phrase in there -- "planning our next bid" -- with no details??

May 6th, 2011, 06:43 PM
You & Laura have done a great job pulling all the people & thins needed to run the best meet I have ever been a part of!! Congrats! OZ :applaud:

jim clemmons
May 6th, 2011, 06:44 PM
No, THANK YOU :applaud: Paul, Laura, Team Mesa, volunteers, officials and all of the untold number of local hosts and services that made our stay so very enjoyable.

We had a thoroughly wonderful time.

Manatee Masters

May 6th, 2011, 07:05 PM

Paul and Laura, you two and your army of volunteers ROCKED! I had such a blast and it was a terrific experience. Thanks for all that you did for USMS! :applaud:


May 6th, 2011, 07:59 PM
As I let you know at the meet, great job Paul (and Laura). I will see about making you an honorary (little) Golden Bear.

May 7th, 2011, 11:41 AM
I think many of us owe you a drink Paul! Fantastic job! :chug::chug:

May 7th, 2011, 09:07 PM
Absolutey FANASTIC job Paul. It was such a delightful meet. One of THE best run Nationals I have been too. Thank you and all of your volunteer force for an incredible competition. :bow::cheerleader::bliss::agree::applaud:

May 8th, 2011, 10:16 PM
Some time in the future - you NEED to host another one!!!!!!!!:applaud:

May 9th, 2011, 11:44 AM
Super meet, and it was great to meet you, too. I'll come back next time, for sure. :banana:

Jeff Commings
May 9th, 2011, 11:58 AM
Paul neglected to mention that he and Laura got the opportunity to race a few times. I know they don't like to do anything half-assed, so stepping up to race when their physical conditions weren't optimal had to be challenging, but it was great to see them in the pool.

May 9th, 2011, 12:35 PM
Paul neglected to mention that he and Laura got the opportunity to race a few times. I know they don't like to do anything half-assed, so stepping up to race when their physical conditions weren't optimal had to be challenging, but it was great to see them in the pool.

You forgot to say no pun intended. Let's just say it is a good thing tech suits are no longer permitted or your statement may have been incorrect... :bolt:

May 9th, 2011, 02:18 PM
Just say NO to costly tech suits!!!!!!!

May 9th, 2011, 06:28 PM
my first nationals, great venue, very smoothly run...THANK YOU so much, well done!

May 16th, 2011, 02:42 PM
All of the crew deserve a trophy !! :applaud::applaud: