Mary Eggers


Race report: Bay Creek SUP CUP!!!!!

I am desperate to latch on to every single moment of summer I can. Saturday morning I received the email that allowed it to happen. The Bay Creek SUP cup, originally planned for that morning, had been postponed to Sunday! I run our nursing lab on Saturdays, so I would have been out.

But now…. I WAS IN!!!!!!!!!

I have loved my first season of SUP racing. The atmosphere of these races reminds me of what triathlon was like when I first began. No technology, low key, and grass roots. I crave that atmosphere.

Sunday morning I did a quick bike / run and headed up to the lake. The weather was beautiful and I was eager. I wanted to be out on the board racing… one more time this season. SUP racing has been so much fun, it’s something so completely different and completely awesome.

Plus, I love to race.

I love the butterflies. They make me feel like I am ALIVE. I crave them, I look for them. They remind me that I care. For a long time while I was doing Ironman… they went away. When I stepped up to my last Ironman finish, they weren’t there. That’s when I knew I needed a change.

When I got to Bay Creek I ran into Laura and I was SO HAPPY. I haven’t seen her in YEARS. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you miss someone until you see them again. She’s someone I have always admired not only for her athletic prowress but for her parenting. I don’t think she knows how much I learned about being a mom from her. Locker room conversations, things she’s said over the years…. she has really taught me a lot. When I saw her I felt so grateful. At 50 years old she’s a complete stud, and she surfs. For real.

Ken at Bay Creek put me on a RACE BOARD for this event! I was SO stoked. I rode a Starboard 12’6″ which was 30 inches wide. I loved this board!


It felt SO stable and SO sleek. I was so eager to get out there.

The folks at these races are just so awesome, and I ended up running into Dennis who was kayaking, Gordy who is also a new SUP’er and a whole bunch of people who just made the whole event feel so right. I felt at home with all of these folks.

I raced the women’s long course, which was 5 miles. I wasn’t sure how many were in the race total, but there weren’t many women. We need more of you ladies to get into this. As an endurance athlete the endurance part of this is quite easy. It’s the skill that we need to work on.

I often forget and take for granted the things my endurance allows me to just…. jump into. I am so grateful for it.

The horn went off and we were off. My goal was to stay near Laura and as close behind the first girl as possible. For half the race the first girl was within reach, I just couldn’t get ahead of her. She was also half my age!

The air initially was cool and the water was actually warm. The course was from Bay Creek to the Bridge and then back. The wind was in our face on the way out, and then I was hoping it would be behind us on the way back!

SUP race

The whole time I smiled. I felt so good. My stroke is coming together (and at the same time needs SO much work). I was racing yet another race on a board I had never even been on before, and all I could feel was happy.

I alternated between long strokes and smaller strokes. I tried to read the water. I never realized how shallow the Bay was! Once we rounded the bridge the first place girl pulled ahead more and Laura was right behind me. All I wanted to do was stay in the mix of these two awesome athletes.

As we got further from the turnaround I turned my head and Laura wasn’t there. For some reason having her right on my shoulder had given me great comfort. She’s an experienced athlete and paddler, this was her third time at this race. She knows how to legitimately surf in REAL waves, and she’s…. just someone I admire.

I turned to see her, and got a little worried. Later I found out that her board came to an almost complete stop as it got grounded in the weeds. That made sense. Once you lose momentum it’s tough to get it going again. It was another reminder that the Bay was shallow. The shallowness seemed to be what was tripping some athletes up more than anything.

As we headed toward the finish line the wind we were hoping for, the tailwind… seemed to die down. It felt like we were going nowhere. I was sweating bullets.

I took some ribbing over on twitter for stand up paddle board racing…. it’s a totally new thing around here. I can assure you this ain’t SUP yoga. It’s an all out freaking race here. You are going as hard as you can, paddling and paddling and paddling and there is no room for error. One fall, once getting grounded in weeds, and you lose time. There is no coasting, there is no breaks…. it’s just awesome. It’s the kind of difficult you don’t expect but that you welcome and love. If you are like me that is!

The whole time I just felt the waves. Felt the rhythm. Felt the strokes. I did want to stop once…. just to hold onto the moment. I wanted to hit pause, because I felt like I was stealing more summer and I don’t want this to end. I want to preserve it forever.

I was able to finish as second woman, in between Caralie (the 20-something) and Laura. I was so happy. I loved being on the race board, I would like something more narrow. Ken is helping me find the right one and I am giving it time.

Afterwards we all just hung out. I loved commiserating about the course and listening to some tips and stories. I love that atmosphere after races. That’s my thing. I didn’t realize how many people in Rochester SUP and I can’t wait for May so we can meet up and do it again. Or how about April?

It was such a bonus to be able to race in the Bay Creek SUP cup. I got a really cool technical shirt as a prize. I got more experience, I reconnected with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I got to race.

I love to race. I don’t care what we are racing. I will race knitting some day I am SURE OF IT!!! I love butterflies. I love getting into the green room. I love coming face to face with the only competitor that will ever matter to me.


I love coming to toe with myself. I learn so much by doing that.

It’s been a great season of SUP’ing. I have three boards and a race board in progress. There is so much more to learn in this sport and now that my Ironman days are behind me, short course triathlon affords the ability to dabble elsewhere a bit more. SUP’ing is perfect for us multisport ¬†athletes. AND CHEAPER!

Thank you Bay Creek for putting on such an amazing event. Thank you to everyone who was out there competing and for those cheering today! And a HUGE thanks to Caralie and Laura for allowing me to compete with you, you both have grace and attitudes that I am so grateful to be able to learn from. Let’s do this again, sooner rather than later!



Nurses Unite

A comedian whose job is to sit in a chair on a TV show, drink coffee and talk, mocked nurses. Honestly, I don’t care. This woman has absolutely no impact on my life. Neither do her…. would I call them colleagues? I didn’t see it. I watched the clip, I brushed it off. I didn’t see it, because I was working. As a nurse.

I prefer to deal with people who live in my world. The real world. Where we mow our own lawns, do our own laundry, buy our own groceries. Would I expect a woman like her to comprehend what it’s like to be a nurse? I don’t.

What I do think, is that we need to stop allowing these Hollywood elitist people to have any sort of power over our lives. I don’t give much thought to those who live in that world. I can’t believe how much they are paid however and that they are called role models. What are they role models for?

I know a neurosurgeon whose great talent is to remove a type of tumor called a neuroblastoma. I know an incredible pediatric heart surgeon who saved our son’s life years before it was in danger. I know that I work with incredible nurses, doctors, patient care technicians, administrative staff, environmental services staff who take care of critically ill children. I know that I work with brilliant faculty in a college environment where we educate future nurses.

I know that all of the above mentioned make a fraction of what these ladies on this TV show make. I know those TV ladies would never survive on the salaries that we make. We are not concerned with the name on the inside of our tags says, or what type of handbag we carry. We wear scrubs, we are sometimes elbow deep in blood, and frankly….. we all wear a stethoscope.

To these ladies I can only assume their medical experience and knowledge comes from the land they live. TV itself. Do you really want to know why Dr. McDreamy died? Take a look at his ET tube! Really? You have to be kidding me. Don’t they have medical people who consult on these shows? Okay, he’s an actor, it’s TV, but please. At least depict it as it really happens. It’s pathetic. This is not what it’s like.

By the way: you can’t shock a flatline and your CPR technique is a joke. But that’s another topic for another day.


My point? Hollywood is the land of make believe. To expect them to understand what a nurse does, what it’s like to be a nurse, or anything near it….. is equivalent to expecting my dog Cocoa to understand algebra. It’s just not going to happen.

What I loved about this whole event was the reaction of nurses. Standing up. Defending the profession that we are so fortunate to work in. That we have worked HARD to earn the privilege to work in.

We see people as you won’t otherwise see them. During the most vulnerable moments of their lives. Receiving devastating diagnoses. Battling cancer to the death. Praying for miracles… and sometimes…. receiving them.

We work alongside physicians who rely on our assessments, skills, and opinions. We work with technicians who have more experience than we can possibly gain ourselves. We work as a seamless team when a patient is in a critical state.

We cry when we lose your loved one. We cry in happiness when we are able to make the save. We take your life story home with us. We hold your hand and the hands of your children when you don’t know where else to go. We figure it out when options are limited.

We are proud of who we are and what we do. Nurses are special, there is no doubt about it. I think it’s time we stop allowing those who don’t live in our world to have power to judge us. I don’t care if this woman apologizes. It won’t be sincere. It won’t mean anything to me personally.

I am a nurse. I don’t live in that world and they certainly don’t live in mine. I am so proud of all the nurses and medical professionals who came together this week to defend a profession we can’t talk too much about. We don’t instagram or post about our day on Facebook because it’s your life we are dealing with.

And we respect YOUR LIFE.

You know what? If any of those ladies rolled into our care today, we’d take good care of them. We would not treat them as a star. We treat EVERY patient like they are a star. We would not even think for a second about how they mocked us, then told us we misunderstood. We’d assess them as we do every patient, with our doctor stethoscopes and all. They’d get the best care, as all of our patients do.

So don’t worry. Hold your head high. Wear your stethoscope proud (I am sure they don’t even know how to use one, so don’t let it bug you). We have bigger things to tackle. That 7 year old who came in with an appy (appendectomy) needs a bolus (a quick dose of fluid) and some abx (antibiotics). The asthmatic in the next room has expiratory wheezes bilaterally (which we hear through a stethoscope), and we need a line in that diabetic (you can google that). We just got a call that a 2 month old is on the way, CPR in progress and that’s all we know.

Ladies of the View…. you grasp your coffee mugs and debate whether Trump’s hair is real. You mock Miss Colorado all you want (and by the way, she may have lost the contest but I don’t know who won, all I know is her…… ) and talk about ….. well whatever it is you are talking about.

I am a nurse. I have students to educate, patients to care for, and much more important things to do. I am a nurse, and should you need our care…… trust me someday you will…. we will take care of you too.