In 1936, in the depths of the Great Depression, an obscure rowing team from the mining and lumber towns of Washington traveled to Berlin, Germany for the Olympic Games. With every aspect of the game stacked against this unlikely team, something happened that is hard to achieve and difficult to define which allowed them to win the gold medal. It’s called “swing.” Swing can be achieved only when all team members are rowing in such perfect unity that not a single movement is out of sync. While a crew is a powerful mix of skilled and unique rowers, each must rein in their fierce independence while still holding true to their individual capabilities. Each must adjust to the needs and capabilities of the others – the short armed person reaching a little farther and the long-armed person pulling in just a bit. In this way, differences are turned to advantage and a team in unison can achieve victory. [The Boys in the Boat]
More than any other year, we relied on one another to do our work
This is what happened in 2020. In a year that brought unforeseen challenges and obstacles, our team pulled together with olympic-like strength and grace. With the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic, our doulas faced down virtual home-schooling their children, toddlers without daycare and concern over family members with compromised immune systems. The ability to work – to meet with clients, teach classes, attend births – all indelibly altered as we joined others in social distancing efforts. Team members quickly pivoted to provide continuity of care.
Doulas who were not able to work in-person transitioned into virtual support roles. With fewer clients than ever before, doulas who had more financial security stepped back to allow team members who needed the income more to attend more births. When riots or demonstrations closed routes to hospitals, team members who had better access stepped up to take on-call responsibilities. Like an Olympic crew team in Swing, the teamwork that ensures the excellent care of our clients also helped move our team through 2020 stronger than ever, and prepared for any challenges that 2021 may bring. So at the end of 2020, we celebrate our team. More than any other year, we relied on one another to do our work – the work that allows us to support you.