Things I pondered at this year’s Montreal Dragon Boat Festival:
- We are a sprinting team, not an endurance team. (Well, alright, I already knew this.) Our technique is fine, but our fitness? Leaves something to be desired. This isn’t necessarily bad, as it netted us silver in the Women’s C 250m. It does mean that we’re in trouble for the upcoming 1000m race in August though.
- I, personally, no longer have the stamina for dragonboat. I’m not talking physically here (although… 1000m? eep), I mean mentally. I just don’t enjoy it enough anymore for it to take up two nights a week, every week, from May till September, along with the whole weekends taken up by festivals. I’m done.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy it anymore: I do. I love the intensity, the water, the incredible sense of Team when you feel the boat surging forward with each stroke. It’s just that… I also love other things and… they’re starting to rank higher on my list these days.
Part of me wonders if this is because I feel like as a team we’re stagnating. The girls are competitive, but I feel like while we talk the talk, we’re not really putting the work in to earn it. We are (by normal division classing, with 8 teams per div) a B-division women’s team. We practice (in my opinion) way too often, however, and we’re not doing well enough (again, in my opinion) to justify it. If I’m devoting what amounts to nearly a fifth of my summer to this thing, I want to feel that I — along with everyone else on the team — am really giving it my all, you know?
I’m not bailing mid-season — we still have another month, and another festival, and I’ll have the fall and winter off to think about things but… at the moment, it’s looking a lot like my last summer as a dedicated paddler. (Although hey, if anyone needs a spare…)
- I can sleep in a room that’s at 30 degrees so long as there’s at least a little air flowing. Also, I can sleep through fireworks, sirens and assorted other madness that goes along with Just For Laughs. There have been times, of late, when I’d been doubting my sleep-anywhere super-power. Apparently I should have just had faith.
- I have now seen a human cannonball. It was both pretty cool and slightly anticlimactic. The scariest part of the show for me was when the announcer informed us that Dave was a second-generation human cannonball.
- I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually considering Ultimate Frisbee (again) as a sport for the next summer. It’s not that I think it’s very fun (it’s not; it’s Work) but its equipment requirements are very low (bring cleats and water… that’s it) and it also has a lot of socializing time built into it, which at the moment is what I’m really looking to get. Love the girls in my boat but… you can’t talk during a dragonboat practice and while I’m not going to say that I don’t need exercise (because, yeah, see point 1 above), right now I need a regular dose of friendly chit chat a lot more.