I had no idea how this whole thing was organized. Do they only allow Bolinas residents? Did they just take volunteers from the crowd? Was there already a team in place that's been training for this friendly grudge match? My family has owned property in Bolinas for over 50 years, so we think of ourselves as residences. Since the town is blocked off to traffic on the 4th of July DH and I decided if the tug of war started at 9am, we'd start walking to town at 8am. We arrived at the beach at 8:30am.
Now we are at 30. DH is walking around watching and still doesn't know I'm serious about being on this team; until he sees me pull my workout gloves out of my pocket as we warm up. I'm strapping them on and suddenly it comes to him that this has been my plan from the start. OH yeah it was. It's the 4th of July, I'm in Bolinas and there is a tug of war going on. Where else would I be? I'm not letting the Bolinas women's team not have a full roster.
As we are warming up the rules are told to remind the past members and to let the new members know. NO sitting down. NO letting go of the rope. NO more than 30 pullers. All will disqualify us as a team. Then we get a pep talk. She says, "It's all legs lady." I think to myself, "I've got this!" My legs are very strong and my arms well they are getting there. "Ladies, we win because when there is a stalemate we don't give up. We dig in! They get tired and we pull them in. Don't stop pulling until we say to stop pulling," says the head gal.
Now we run over to the rope. Oddly they all line up on the left side of the rope. I started on the right side, but was the only one there. I switch over. I don't know why, but I don't want to be the screw up that loses the Bolinas tug of war. I figured I could pull well from either side. We are told to line up tallest in the front on back to the shortest. This is because of the slope of the beach. Today we don't have a lot of beach as it's nearly high tide, but we get spaced out on the rope nicely.
|Stinson Beach pulling with all their might.|
I find out later each bout was timed. The women's team won theirs in 4 minutes. The men's team won in 9 minutes. The head gal said she thought the men's bout was the longest lasting tug to date. 4 minutes!!! Really? It was one of the longest 4 minutes of my life. I can't even imagine having it go on to 9 minutes.