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!
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.