Wasabi Warrior

Delayed gratification.

Going the distance.

All the little steps that add up to big strides in life.

Wanting to give up when it seems too hard.

When it seems like I just won’t make it.



Dragon Boat Racing

It is cold and rainy in Portland in the late fall and winter.

It feels especialy cold on the river.

Regardless, I practiced everyday with my dragon boat team.

That’s right!  Wimpy me!  A Wasabi Warrior!

We trained Monday, Wednesday, Fridays at 6 PM  and on Saturday morning at 9.

We trained year-round.

When it was warm and light

The Willamette River was beautiful in the summer and early fall.

We laughed and  shared stories.  We went for a beer afterwards.  It was great.

I was in love with the pageantry, with the physical challenge and the mental challenge.

I had to push myself.

I had to learn to work with the othe paddlers.

Then came late fall and winter

Miserable.  No need to mince words.

We arrived in the dark, trained in the dark and drove home in the dark.

I could hardly wait for practice to end.

“Let it ride” were the sweetest words from the lips of our coach.

We paddled to shore, pulled the boat out, divested ourselves of our wet shoes, gloves, and life vests.

Often, I stopped for deli chicken which I ate in my car in the parking lot of the grocery store.

I arrived home stinking of river water and chilled to the bone.

It was cold and dark inside my townhouse.  I was alone.

There was no one to talk to about the day’s events or the practice.

I  showered and fell into bed.  My body ached all over.  Only my ear lobes did not hurt.

I was too tired to question why I was doing this.

Perhaps it was a demon that drove me.

“You must finish what you start!”

“What would your sons think if you quit?”

Perhaps it was my better self and not a demon.

Such a glamourous life!

~Photo Lori Greer

The Wasabi Warriors

We were part-time, older athletes with full-time jobs.

We came together for sport and camaraderie.

We trained all year for those few glorious races.

Summer races are won in the winter.

14 thoughts on “Wasabi Warrior

  1. I have a dragon boat crew come past my place every morning Lori…at 5.30am. The ‘master’ calling out the rhythm to get their blood going (it’s only about 5 or 6 degrees at that time), so you have my sympathy 😀
    But the one thing I feel as they go past is, they are doing ‘them’ regardless of their or the worlds expectations. And it is in doing that, that they are free.
    Now just share that freedom with another, and your chicken one day after the training, you might be surprised what you find with another dragon in your boat 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea that you participate in this kind of competition, Lori. I love the way you write about it and especially the last sentiment – summer races are won in the winter. A true adage about nearly anything worth working toward. We are all able to do the things that are easy, but to keep working when it’s tough – only winners do that. Well done, Lori. Well done Wasabi Warriors.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Lori. It has in its context profound and deeply spiritual revelations. In the Winter of our life’s experiences we will gain the Strength and enabling to face again the challenges of the Spring and Summer. (Ie in the valleys is the rough training for the Mountain top experiences of REAL LIFE (Full of heartaches and disappointments). One step forward each and every day. Cheers! and appreciation for your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the manner you indite about it and especially the concluding sentiment – summer races are North Korean won in the winter.
    Now just plowshare that exemption with another, and your volaille one day after the grooming, you might be surprised what you get with another dragon in your gravy boat 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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