2016: Day 7
Today we celebrate Robbie J. Really, you could argue that we should celebrate him every day, but let’s start small and see if there’s an appetite for more.
I joined the Steveston Athletic Association (SAA) board this year as a Director at Large. I figured it was an easy way to get a free sandwich once per month (and I was right). Robbie has been serving as our president this year, just as he did the last year, not to mention being on the board each of the three years prior to that. If you’re keeping score, that’s a 60 sandwich effort. Our association is a not for profit organization with about 100 members. If you ask most of us what it is, the answers will vary from “we meet at 6:00am twice per week for coached swim sessions” to “we ride together outdoors on Saturdays when it’s nice” to “we run together as a group on Sunday mornings” to “I’m in it for the Starbucks”. But the one consistent message you would hear is “these are my friends and I love training with a great group of people”.
Over the last 11 months I’ve discovered that there’s actually a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to help ensure this great group of people continues to train together. Securing swim times in a busy pool, ensuring we have run and bike leaders and coaches for swims are perhaps the more obvious, visible things. Then there’s the multitude of invisible things like ensuring we have happy sponsors, that we’re addressing the goals of a diverse group, that we have a fresh look with our apparel, that finances are in order (and fair and reasonable for what the club provides members). There’s decisions around signing authority and governance – we have legal obligations to adhere to. Anyway, there’s a lot that as a board we address quietly in the background. But I’ve come to learn that even beyond that, there’s a lot more that Robbie takes on as our president that just magically happens in the background. I’m sure there are situations that make him pull his hair out (ahem, look at the result) but these get addressed with little fanfare. He just gets it done because he’s a really good guy who cares and wants to make a difference. I haven’t had a chance to work with the other SAA presidents, but knowing them, I’m sure the same can be said about them too (Rob, Erin, and Joanne to name a few)
What makes him unique is that he has gone above and beyond his duties as our president. He and Marcia opened their home to us for our summer get together (remember that 40 foot long IM finisher’s sign above his door that he made?), he hosts all the monthly board meetings at his office and he has hosted Wednesday and Saturday spins the past year at no cost to us members. This has helped minimize the out of pocket costs we would otherwise absorb if we had to rent space at a rec. centre. I often forget that he chooses to do this because it all just happens.
Onto the spirits. The Springbok is actually a real drink. We figured we needed something to celebrate his South African roots so this is what we found:
“A springbok is a popular shooter named after the long-legged buck and the same-named South African rugby team that wears gold and green. The drink mimics the colour of the springbok and veld, and the jersey of the Springbok team, by layering creamy Amarula over a vibrant green peppermint liqueur and/or green crème de menthe. It’s served in bars around the country and is popular during the sporting season – regardless of the team’s performance on the field.”
‘A long legged buck that throws it down in competition’ sounds a lot like Robbie too (okay, now I’m into the embellishment part of our program), but he does throw down a good performance. So, yup, this is Robbie in a shooter glass.
Cheers to you Robbie! You probably don’t hear it often but you’ve done a helluva job. Thanks for being one of the good guys!