Paddling My Ass Off

Good day, dear readers.  


Boy, did I have a weekend.  Think of it.  Me in a dragon boat on Morro Bay as it rained, a snow storm having just blown through.  And a surfing contest on the other side of Morro Rock.  Check this out!

Perhaps you ask, “What in the heck;  why was she doing that”?  I have a perfectly good explanation.  I joined a dragon boat team to lend my spirit and support to all women that have battled cancer.  Our daughter-in-law had a double mastectomy with all that entails, and she joined a dragon boat organization up in Vancouver.  Last summer we saw her paddle in a race on the Willamette River that runs hrough the city of Portland, OR.



While long in the tooth, and frightfully weak in my upper body, I threw caution to the wind and did it anyway.  My Uncle Ralph pumped his bike up a tall hill until he was 85, so I figured I could do things I didn’t think I could do.

The paddling club (never refer to it as rowing…they frown on that), had two women fly down from Portland, OR to our little Morro Bay to do a two day clinic.  As a newbie in the group, I was anxiously hesitate, but I signed up.  

Boy was it a work out.  We paddled, and paddled, and paddled some more.  We were videod and then after the filming, we all went back to the Morro Bay Art Gallery and looked at our “strokes ”.  It turned out I was not getting my hips into the action so I had to practice that the rest of the two day paddle clinic.

This is a sprint sport.  Boy, does it get my heart racing.  After the sprints,  we rested in the boat, as sea otters came by to view us!!  So fun to see them up close in the water.  Then, after a break, another sprint.  More instruction.  Then another sprint.  It was fun except for the times when I hit the gunnel of the boat with my thumbs.  It really hurt because it was cold with rain now and then.

The second day, was more of the same.  More instruction.  More sprinting.  I felt about 100 years old when we finally docked on Sunday.  Struggling in and out of the boat is another challenge.  And getting out was harder because of the fatigue factor.  I suggested to no one in particular that the team needed a crane to lift the half dead bodies out of the boat!!

The team is always looking for more members.  If I have failed to scare you off, you might give it a go.  It really is fun, invigorating, and nearly impossible to do right as a newbie.  Improvement is just around the corner.  Practice makes perfect, and with any luck at all, I will develop more muscle through my back, shoulders, and arms.  

My mon nick-named me Tootsie Thomas as a child but she could have called me twiggy.  My arms are twig-like so any improvement in the twigs department will be welcomed by moi.

Incidentally, there were two boats, for a total of 34 people, more or less involved with the clinic.  And don’t judge a book by its cover.  All ages, all shapes, all sizes enjoy the sport.  I’m just another one now!!

Go Tam!!  And to all other people that survived cancer and joined the sport…hats off to all of them.


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