Why Compete?

My dad loves sailing – from his youth in Rhode Island to sailing his J35 on Lake St. Clair in my youth, he’s always made time to sail.
When he owned the Cross Check, he had with him the most wonderful crew of friends who regularly crewed with him on races. They were all extra uncles to me and remain close.
But the Cross Check crew was never competitive. We laughed a lot, but almost never finished first…or third…or far from the back.
So why did dad keep registering for races – twice weekly regattas as well as larger overnight races like the Port Huron-Mackinac race?
When he was asked, he explained: “it gets me on the boat.” Registering for races was the extra cost that ensured he would be on the water twice a week. The joy of propelling through the water with nothing pushing you but the wind is a joy he could only guarantee if he committed to the organized races.
For me, that’s Choral Festival. It’s not about the rating, it’s not about the workshop, it’s not about competition. It’s about the motivation to get into rehearsal every week and work at getting better with a goal in mind.
It’s so much easier to get to the joy of a perfectly nuanced phrase if you have a festival deadline.
Wishing all my colleagues in District 10 a great Choral Festival this week – with the knowledge that the important work is already done.

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