January 22, 2007 at 9:16 am | Posted in Affiliations, Raves | Leave a comment

i have found a new hobby. imagine waking up at the ungodly hour of 4am and rushing all the way to manila with only about 3 hours of sleep and all — on a weekday, and it would prove too daunting for some to try.

but i am trying. what do i get in return? bragging rights, for one. not a lot of people have the guts to actually dip in manila bay’s murky, stinking water for one. and the serenity you feel after the rush of paddling 500 meters and you’re sitting there on the boat waiting for the water to calm down while life begins to wake up on the shore — stores opening, people jogging, street lights dying, the sun breaking in the distance. waiting for morning to come full circle all the while you’re already exhausted.

it’s a very interesting sport, to say the least, one i hope to get more into as soon as my induction climb is over next month. for now i have to prioritize beating the 1:45 clock-in requirement for the 15k. it’s exhausting when you have to add up all the running i do with the rigorous training that requires an early morning routine for four times a week. it takes a certain level of commitment and enthusiasm to get out of bed and go there, so there’s a bit of a conflict with my running sked, from which i am usually exhausted the day after.

it is no joke to paddle. and for a wimp who doesn’t know how to swim, a mistake could be deadly. imagine drowning in manila bay, and when they find your corpse they find you smelling like rotten fish and industrial waste? what could be worse?

to row, thus, you have to move in synch with the team. you have to cut the paddle into the water at an angle that minimizes splashes, twist it out at an angle in line with your hips, and then do it fast, hehehehe. it’s fun!

oh and have i mentioned how after the training you get to bathe in a public toilet? hahahaha!

for now my main line of support is my UPM circle, which got me into it in the first place. but i hope that with time i can pursue this sport and let it grow into an independent hobby. if… IF.. i can keep up with my sked and up my training to at least three times a week maybe i can be in shape and good enough for a regatta by mid-07.

i am giving myself six months to do this and do this right and get in a competition. and then i can truly say that i am a dragonboat rower.


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