“Keep your paddle close to the boat!”
“Lean forward!”
These are some of the things our dragon boat team leader shouts down the boat; I often think it’s directed at me. Maybe it is, well especially last time I went to practice.

I really enjoy dragon boating, it’s a good workout, there’s some good cameraderie and we’ve even got to take part in an international dragon boat festival. Here’s an account of my last training session:

The DisOARder (isn’t that a cool name?) leader sat me on the other side of the boats for a try-out. Not long into training, he moved my friend to the right and me to the back “to balance the boat.”
“Is he saying I’m fat?” asked my friend jokingly.
“Ha ha.” I laughed, knowing it couldn’t be the case.  “More likely I’m useless on the left.”

“Some people think that there’s an order to where you sit and you want to be in the middle or at the front,” commented, the team leader.
Oh dear. I hadn’t thought that but then I started wondering!

He assured me there was no such thing as a preferential spot, but I missed the banter with my friend in the breaks.  Nonetheless, it was good to be back on the right, feeling the boat power across the sea as we all paddled in 80 stroke bursts.

Towards the end of training, Rob looked at his rowing partner’s watch and called up the boat: “Good job team; very good.”
Now had I been in the middle still I’d have felt chuffed. At the back though the next thing I heard was:
“That was my heart rate.”

We can row really fast though- especially if there’s a storm brewing!

Now don’t get the wrong impression- ok so we are a bunch of amateurs; we only train once a week (twice in the build up to a race); we don’t weigh ourselves to make sure the boat is balanced and we certainly don’t do star jumps as a warm up! But, we have taken part in races against teams a) younger than us b) fitter- they ran laps before the races, that would quite frankly have finished us off.

Team DisOARDder, of which I’m proud to say I’m a member, has nonetheless won a race in the ‘Penang International Dragon Boat Festival’.

Do you live in Penang and fancy joining us? Send me a message to find out more! It is fun, and a great workout.