6 Common Kinds of Paddlers You Paddle With In The Boat

In your paddling life, you’d meet different kinds of people with different personalities and from different backgrounds, too. Some you’d easily get along with, some you just wouldn’t. And that’s okay because, first and foremost, you joined the team to paddle and there’s a lot more reasons for you to still be able to eat, sleep, and breathe the sport of paddling.

To be truly part of the team is to play your part, that is: to be full of hope, to be willing to learn and work hard, and, most importantly, to be kind.

1. The Motivator

He’s the one who pushes you to do your best–to paddle harder and to train more often. While he does his best to embolden and encourage you to put more effort in learning the techniques, he shows you how it’s done and he makes sure that you dig your paddle deep with your soul and might.

2. The Whiner

This paddler does more whining rather than paddling. It can be about the training program, the new coach, or anything that’s not paddling-related even. It’s just non-stop and it drains everyone’s energy and patience. If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly by anyone from the team, try to open up a dialogue but be pleasant and treat it with utmost professionalism.

3. The Ball of Fire

He gives his all. He shows up in all scheduled practices and he performs his best. He believes that putting effort in training will make him a better paddler, a better teammate. For when the races come, he is ready and his mindset would be like: It’s just one of those regular trainings, only with Umpires and Judges.

4. The Unenthusiastic

He may show up at practices but with such low energy and the performance is half-baked. It’s better to get your focus back, re-fuel, and then go back to practice. The paddler’s power and performance, or lack of it, during the training period will determine the team’s performance on actual race days.

5. The Keeper

He values the team’s unity, in and out of the boat. He keeps them excited to go to training and he persuades teammates who have not been training to come back and paddle. He’s everyone’s friend and you want to paddle alongside him always. He’s the team’s positive energy and the watchdog of whiners.

6. The Boat Wrecker

Quite obviously, this person is unhappy, therefore he does things that demoralises a teammate or the entire team—and so the boat becomes so much heavier. Every so often, they’re the ones who’s not performing at practices and fails at fitness tests. That’s why it’s important to be goal-oriented yourself and then align it with the team’s objectives and aspirations.

Photo credit: Christine Pezzulo; GIFs via Giphy


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25 Things Only Dragon Boaters Understand

In the sport of Dragon Boat, there are several factors that teams consider when the training season begins: form, reach, synchronicity, endurance, and a whole lot more besides. It depends on the Coach’s approach or what the training managers have designed for the crew.

Dragon boat is a very tough sport, let alone the training hours. There’s water training (actual paddling), land or circuit training, and some do have pool paddle training. Oftentimes, a dragon boater’s week can be quite full (especially in prepping for races).

If you are weak, inactive, faint-hearted, or sluggish, then it may not be the right sport for you; or, on the contrary, it may be the sport that will alter your lethargy. In short, it’s a sport for everybody. It’s a sport where you will be trained to be physically and mentally tough and then become as tough like everyone in the team.

Dragon boat Festival

Furthermore to being tough (in both mind and body), and an even tougher preparation to win races, there are things that only we dragon boaters can relate to and understand. 

1. “Is dragon boat really that hard?”; “Is the boat stable?”; “Is there an alotted time to rest?” These are a few of the most common questions asked by people whom you’ve told you’re a dragon boater. We’d usually explain: “With the right amount of training and perseverance, it can’t be that hard.Their reaction:I might die in the middle of it!

Speed Boat gif

2. You become very competitive that you tend to be as quiet and focused as you can in the marshalling area. (This is where teams are being checked before being despatched to the boats.) Unknowingly, you may have employed this competitiveness in everything that you do now. Good for you!

Shut Up gif

3. You’ve imagined doing cross country paddling with your team using the dragon boat. Sure, why not?

Speed boat fast

4. Calluses and blisters on your palm, and, yes, in your asses, too. Ouch! You may want to grab a roll of athletic tape to cover the blister or to protect yourself from getting one. As for the other target of dragon boater’s blister (if we may neologise), you may need a team mate’s help to put on an adhesive film on that blister back there.

Wound palm gif

5. Some training days are just too early for you.

Getting Up Early gif

6. Your other arm is much stronger than the other. Not necessarily bigger, but definitely stronger. You’ll notice it when you lift something heavy. Things are so much lighter when you use your paddling arm.

Muscles

7. You execute that first explosive stroke during starts with an imaginary paddle; at any time of the day and anywhere you may be. Sometimes you do that quick twist of your shoulder on the train, in the bus, in bed, in the grocery store, or on your way to the office. Then you do it again on your way out of the office or school.

Arm Sway

8. You are haunted by the sound of the AIR HORN. If it’s any consolation, it keeps you alert.

Air Horn

9. Why dragon boaters carry this loaf-like or sponge-like rubber-y thing with them? (While in a sitting position, there’s repeated friction and pressure as they paddle; these seat pads protect the paddler’s backside from getting a blister or scrape.)

Twerk Spongebob

10. Others may wonder: “Is that a bullet proof vest?” Be proud in sporting your personal floatation device (PFD). It will save your life.

Bullet Proof Vest

11. Most often, you have bigger and toner arms than your friends, colleagues or classmates. Only you know that in dragon boat, it’s not just about having massive arms; it’s about the perfection of form and proper breathing technique. In this sport discipline, it’s essential to have power and muscle endurance of the legs, core, arms and shoulders.

Muscles Woman

12. Synchronicity is beauty.

Synchonicity gif

13. Your favourite training shorts have scratches on the fabric at the rear. It’s the rubbing and the “twerking” movement you do in the boat. Also, you think that it doesn’t hurt to have a bright, colourful and creatively designed jersey. Think Synchronised Swimming at the Olympics.

Synchronised 2

14. Paddling offbeat. It happens when one’s timing is offbeat from the “chords” being played during the race or training. If somebody is desynchronizing in front of you, it tends to break the chain of timing up to the last pair. Be alert! Timing is key.

Off timing gif

15. When you see photos of you taken during the race and there’s only the two of you who’s not in synchrony. Well, we all get those. Do better. Perform like it’s being filmed all the time.

Synchronicity

16. You know that sometimes, the dragon boat can either be “left heavy” or “right heavy.” The dragon boat is not a seesaw so this occurrence may slow down the glide of the boat. The solution: A skillful steersperson/helmsman must lean against the heavier side to retain the boat’s balance.

Leaning Tower

17. You have nightmares about doing the “STARTS!” You wanna give your first three to ten strokes, your most solid ever.

Trumpet

18. When your boat capsizes, do not panic. Stop struggling; you’ll float. Dragon boats are designed to float for a time, so keep your focus and look for your buddy (boat partner) and wait for the safety boat to come to you.

Capsize gif

19. The rotator cuff injury. Not only tennis players have this, it is quite common among dragon boaters as well. It varies on how severe the tear on one or more of your rotator cuff tendons. Better see a sports doctor or go to an Osteopath quick! For starters, avoid the affected/painful side when you lie down in bed.

Massage Cat

20. When your team makes it to the Repechage Heat as you’ve been proclaimed, “The Fastest Loser.”

Repechage gif

21. When your team qualifies to the Semi-Finals Heat and it’s back-to-back races for you in several categories. It’s your eighth race of the day, but you’ve got to do it.

Back to back races

22. You’re in a state of shock after losing the heat for only a matter of milliseconds.

What the hell gif

23. That moment of fear (or intimidation) and there’s deafening silence at the starting line.

Intimidation

24. That feeling when, upon reaching the finish line, your abdominal muscles feel so tight, it’s so hard to breathe. Aaaaaaaaah! You’re catching your breath so hard that you can’t even respond to your team cheer.

Tired

25. That moment when you’re paddling ahead of the other boats and you feel like flying, and you scream to victory as you cross the finish line. You also scream in your head things like: “I’m awesome!”, “My team is awesome!”, “I love my LIFE!”

Being a Dragon Boater

Do you remember how it felt like when you got your first dragon boat medal?

dragon boatdragon boat

 GIFs:  Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, Medals – Charlon de Leon Mataga

 

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Aspiration

As for the graceful gymnast who broke an ankle;
Curtains down, her star forfeits its twinkle.

The enthusiastic runner with injured kneecap,
His road to finish may be up.

A Myna bird with fractured wing,
Gone are its moments of soaring.

For an archer who impaired his eyesight,
Aiming for the target is such a fright.

The dragon boat paddler with dislocated shoulder,
His cheers for his team only become louder.

Heal. Get up. Aspire. Again.

The gymnast flexes and jumps.
The runner prevails over the hump.

The Myna bird flies to explore.
The archer hits bull’s-eye once more.

The paddler sits back on the boat and play like before.

 
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