Before the final race, our friends informed us that KAB now needed to regroup, reframe, refocus, and reinvent themselves through visualization and strict tutelage under the powerful and dynamic Coach Kathy Levy.  I have been told many stories of their exemplary coach, small in stature, yet mighty in presence with a commanding voice and energy that propelled her team to this world event. We did our own visualization that afternoon upon the grassy banks of the Arno River. We mingled with other Knot A Breast spectators, primarily family members and friends of the team.

The team was sheltered away getting pumped up for the final race. We envisioned what ‘getting pumped up by Coach Kathy’ entailed and shared stories about this while we also refueled with water, coffee, and a light snack. Collectively from all the training stories we heard, combined with the professionally respected Coach Kathy, we surmised the strategy would be fine-tuned, balanced, tough, and most of all encouraging. And in fact, it was visualization that helped the team members to reinvent themselves for that final race, along with strategic changes implemented by a stellar coach.

I began this spectator’s narration with a quote from Julie Cameron, “when we pry ourselves loose from old self concepts, we find that our new emerging self may enjoy all sorts of bizarre adventures.” The athletes in this festival, dotting the Arno River in the dragon boats, and watching from under the white-canopied team tents, had pried themselves away from any negative connotations of breast cancer. They envisioned themselves with a different self-image, shredding the negative self-connotations as they transformed into professional athletes.