I don’t have a lot of upper-body strength. Opening a jar, helping a friend move or slicing an apple with a kitchen knife are all struggles for me. So when I dive in to physical sports like a Dragon Boat Race as a member of WE’s Paddle Team, it’s due to curiosity rather than confidence that I’ll achieve immediate success. [SIDE NOTE: WE’s awesome Athletic Sponsorship program has sponsored our team for eight consecutive years, making it possible for us to continue supporting Team Survivor Northwest, a nonprofit dedicated to educating and empowering women through their cancer recovery.]
What followed our first paddle team practice was a morning of questions paired with a few general concerns.
“How do paddlers still have arms attached to their bodies?”
“Now that I’m dead, how will I continue with my schedule for the day? The week?”
I was aware of the “soreness warnings” given to us by paddlers of past years, but soon realized I needed to increase my time at the gym and commit to this awesome team.
As it turns out, paddling in the Dragon Boat was the most fun I’ve had on the water since I vowed I wouldn’t return after a brief inner-tube deflation scare as a kid – different story. Once I continued with practices at the Leschi Marina, I often found myself looking up annual costs to continue paddling after the race was over.
While out on Lake Washington in 80-degree weather, it’s difficult to complain about anything, though it could be possible after a Power 10-infused 90-second paddle. Our team-effort was solid. And there was always someone shouting words of encouragement after a practice race, regardless of the success rate. “Great job, everyone!”
Regarding the real race on Lake Sammamish, the whole experience was a great time. Sore muscles aside, we took home third place medals and lime-green WE-branded shirts. As an intern, joining a team of co-workers who range from all positions in the company was admittedly a little intimidating. However, I always felt encouraged and accepted – and would gladly do it again.
WE paddle WE paddle WE paddle, hard!
Wanna try Dragon Boating?
If you’re in the Seattle area, meet up with Club Sake at the Leschi Marina and get up to three free practices. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced paddler, there’s a place for you on the team. Here’s a little history on one of the fastest growing water sports in the world.
2017 WE Paddlers Team:
Captains: Alison Yochum, Chrissy Vaughn
Caller/Drummer: Kate Kohler
Paddlers: Alexis Harrison, Andrew Lowe, Casey Johnson, Dani Chung, Denise Aguilar, Elise Leahy, Hanna Williams, Hunter Ventoza, Kelsey Wickman, Kelsey Fowler, Lauren Fowler, Rachel Martinez, Tony Lystra, Whitney Herrick