As I peruse through the AWA tours for the upcoming month, Dragon Boating catches my eye. I’ve watched these beautiful beasts out on the water as the crew row in perfect syncronicity. What the heck? I’ll give it a try. If Emily can do crew 4 times a week, I must be able to handle this one day trial! I successfully sold the idea to one of my friends, Frances, to accompany me. It was a beautiful sunny day and the pollution level was quite low. We started out with some stretches and basic instruction of how to row. Should I be this winded after stretches? Geez, I’m really feeling my age these days. Now, we have to walk the boats down to the water. Luckily, they are on a trailer so it’s just a matter of not running them into anything. Once the boats are in it’s time to get the show on the road (or water :).
I was the odd man out in the division of the boat crew so I didn’t have a partner. Lucky me, I get to sit up front with the professional! Well, I only felt lucky for about the first five minutes when the realisation that the rest of the boat follows the first two rowers set in. We set the pace. This fit young lady that I’m partnered up with is counting on me to keep up with her. Ok, I got this. The first two runs, not so bad. Took a bit to figure out the oar placement, body form, and which muscles I should be using. More rowing….and more rowing….my mind is going to its happy place. We reach this beautiful area right by the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Gardens By the Bay, and the Sports Arena. We stopped to rest and enjoy the view. Singapore has amazing architecture. Getting to know my partner (Fabi I believe was her name) while we rest, I find that she is a fitness instructor at the Navy base. Her husband is a Navy pilot that has just left for Hong Kong for a year. Lovely young lady that is definitely making the most of her time here. She is giving me praises on my technique as I’m apologising for slowing her pace down (I’m pretty sure the ladies behind me were grateful for the slower pace).
Ok, it’s race time! We’ve waited for the second boat to come meet us and now we are going to row to the bridge to start the race. I feel sufficiently rested and ready to “do this!”. We row to the bridge to line up with the other boat. Uh oh, that was a lot farther than I thought. Now I’m tired again! Taylor Swift’s song pops into my head, “shake it off, sh shake it off!” I shake out my rubbery arms and get in ready position…GO! My partner is yelling, “1, 2, 3, 4” I’m digging into the water like it’s a tub of Nutella! Dig, dig, dig. Arms… so… tired…. More yelling, “come on ladies, we’ve got this”. I can’t tell who is ahead, but from the frantic yelling I’m thinking we are behind. Finally, the words I need to hear, “hold!”. I was so happy to stop the pain, that I didn’t care that we lost. Well, not totally true, I am a pretty competitive person.
We did do a second race and I won’t go into detail, but we lost a second time. Now it’s time to get the boats back to the boat house. I thought the physical exhaustion was over…um no. Getting the boats in the water was WAY easier than getting them out. I honestly thought I was going to toss my cookies I was that physically drained. It’s times like these I wish I had the mind of a 40 something and the body of a 20 something. It’s now three days later and my body is still cursing me. Am I glad I did it? Hell yes! When am I ever going to do things like this again. Emily is going to be doing dragon boating in the spring (insert evil laugh) and doesn’t know what she’s getting into!