Just call me The Rocket

For anyone who knows me, you know that there are many words that can be used to describe me, none of which include: athletic, sporty, fitness buff.

I hate the gym. People tell me time and again that you just have to get into a routine with it, once you start feeling better you'll like it. No. It never happens. The gym is an awful, smelly, hamster-wheel for humans place where my joy goes to die. And trust me, I've tried. I've done months and months at a gym, including a personal trainer, and never seen results or felt good enough to keep it up.

I do, however, enjoy doing things that may be described as sporty, even though I am not sporty. I love to ride bikes, I love to hike (not walk or run because ew). I guess outdoorsy is a better description.

Anyway, this is all just a setup to tell you all that tomorrow I will be participating in Paddle for Pink, meaning that I get to, along with 19 other people, race a dragon boat.

Now, when I first heard this, I pictured this:

Pretty fucking amazing, right? I mean you're basically pretending to be a dragon skimming the surface of a lake as you prepare to breathe fire on some village who did you wrong by stealing your dragon eggs or spearing your dragon mate in the face or something.

In actuality, as I learned at practice yesterday, most dragon boats for events such as this look more like this:

So you can imagine my initial disappointment that I couldn't make fire-breathing dragon noises whilst paddling.*

Luckily, aside from the boat not looking like a full-on dragon, practice was amazing. We were prepped by our practice "coach" and steerer Gus. Gus was excessively chatty, but he knows his shit. He assessed our group and picked out our strokers (the guys at the front of the boat that set the pace), our engine (aka the big strong burly men), and at the back of the boat, the rocket (thus named because all the water being pushed by the rows in front is coming at you, so you must paddle deeper and faster into the water to keep pace).

For some reason, probably because Gus had no idea that I am the opposite of athletic, he put me in the rocket position. I was scared. I am not one who likes to fail. I want to learn things perfectly the first time and impress everyone. I listened intently to Gus' instructions, and asked him again when we were in the boat. I focused on every detail. I became The Rocket.

I wasn't perfect, but I learned a lot in our 45 minute practice. I was soaking wet by the end and I had a decent grasp of my duties and the issues I had to focus on for Saturday's races. 

As we broke, Gus gave us a pat on the back and talked about what we need to remember on Saturday. He looked at me and said that for my first practice, I had learned a lot and done a great job. I took that to mean that I was the fastest-trained rocket he had ever met, and that everyone from here on out should refer to me reverentially as The Rocket.

*I know those boats have small dragon heads on them. Our training boat didn't, but I believe there will be some sort of dragon head on our event-day boat. But I want a huge, epic, colorful dragon head, not some wussy dragon head that breathes matchstick fires.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 7, 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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