dragon boat rowing

my back is aching. there’s soreness in my shoulders too. and my hands. my hands and wrists feel like they can’t carry much weight anymore.

but i’d choose to feel all these tenfold just to get to experience rowing again.

unlike most of my saturdays, i woke up today at 7:00am, left the house with two of my friends about an hour after that and we went straight to the river park for today’s big event. yep, it’s my first time to try this sport. i was a little anxious because i am afraid of swimming, we don’t know anyone there and this sport surely takes a lot of strength and endurance to complete – two things i found myself short on lately.

so anyway, we went there just for the heck of it. we thought it was going to be a “fun” race. but no, we got a taste of how dragon boat competitions feel like. WE WERE REALLY GOING TO COMPETE! they gave us the basics of course, rowed 200m which was the race distance we would be competing in later on, tried the long hauls and got to know what “charge!” really means.

then it was time for the eliminations or heats as they call these. our boat won the first heat at 59 seconds. yes. 59 seconds. for the professionals, this will still surely be considered slow. but for a newbie, this is mind-boggling to me. being the fastest in that round, we were immediately qualified for the finals.

the tension and the pressure to win was palpable. as we moved towards the starting line, my friends and i were teasing each other with quips like “is that your game face on?” or questions like “what are we doing here?” or “we thought this was just a fun-so-so race?” but deep inside, there’s tension coiling inside me, as i’m sure the others were feeling too. we have got to win this, i thought then.

and at the signal, we rowed with such gusto. i never thought i could paddle as fast or as strong as i did in those moments. but it wasn’t meant to be. we lagged midway and ended up at the third place. there was just silence in our boat, until our trainer who also acted as our steerman cheered us up.

still, not bad for newbies. 3rd place is still a good place to be in. and those few hours we spent in the company of such fun-loving, humorous and accommodating people was just so worth it.

so yes, just let me know when it’s time to paddle up again! 🙂

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~ by moonsparks on June 19, 2011.

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