Life is a Classroom~What I Learned From Dragon Boat Racing

What I Learned From Dragon Boat Racing 

Dragon Boat Race

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in the Bayou Desiard Dragon Boat festival.  29 teams, put together by local businesses, gather together and compete for bragging rights and a trophy. All proceeds go to support the arts (or something like that). When my good friend Kelly Block, owner of K-Sera boutique, invited me to be on her boat I jumped at the opportunity to get a good workout in, and help my favorite boutique secure a victory. Besides the occasional workout on a Concept II rower, I was clueless as to what dragon boat racing would entail. I figured I’d show up and try to learn something new and that I did.  This life is God’s classroom, and it’s always in session.

Dragon Boat Pre Race

It takes 20 people to row this dragon boat, ten people on each side. Your coach rides in the back of the boat, which is perched higher up. This gives him a crystal clear vision of what’s ahead and around you.  It’s crucial that you listen intently to his voice so you will know when to row and on what count.  One of the things our coach instructed us to do was to keep all of our focus inside the boat. What he meant by this was not to be distracted by other boats or looking down at your paddle in the water. We were instructed to look straight ahead, listen to his count, stay low in the boat, and stay in sync with the person in front of you.  Each stroke was to be powerful and deep. Not short and shallow. Lastly, he told us absolutely no standing up in the boat to celebrate ourselves. This would cause you to fall out of the boat or capsize the whole thing.

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Dragon Boat Race

Wow! What a huge metaphor for our walk with God in this life. God is our coach and life is a race.

 I came up with a couple of one liners about this experience that rung true for me. I hope they help you as well.

 

Learn something new and the lesson within it.

Every person counts. It's about teamwork.

Listen intently to your coach.

Keep your eyes glued straight ahead. Comparing yourself to other boats or fixating only on your paddle will get you out of sync.

Breathe deep.

Just keep rowing.

If you get out of sync, listen, and get right back in.

Row with deliberate. intentional power. Make them deep.

Shallow, fast rows will exhaust you.

Watch the person in front of you. Encourage them when they get out of sync. 

Don't let you're paddle get behind you. The water behind you slows you down.

Excessive celebration of yourself will cause you to fall.

I hope to see you at the race next year! I will be sponsoring a boat and looking to fill it :) Check out the video my good friend Jo Ellen took of us!