Agnes L: Si se puede
I was diagnosed in 2009 from a routine mammogram. Had surgery March 2010 and became a member of the LA Pink Dragons in October 2010. Experienced my first competitive race in Tempe Arizona in March 2011.
How did I discover this sport? I saw a flyer at the Cancer Center Support Center in Redondo Beach. It peaked my interest and I followed up, then meeting with TK at Mothers Beach. The team was practicing for the Rose Regatta at Lake Las Vegas so I was not able to get on the boat at that time. I was determined to learn more about the team, so my Husband and I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas for the Rose Regatta to check out this Dragon Boat business. It was very exciting and one could feel the determination of competition in the air not only to win the race but the determination of being a winner in life; a role model for other women who would journey the road of surviving Breast Cancer. It can be done; in Spanish we say “Si se puede”.
How does it feel to paddle in a race? “Awesome.”
In the beginning, the fear of letting your teammates down was a big factor and I thought maybe I was a little to mature (old). I was 68 years old when I joined the “Pinks.”
And that finish line seems so far away. I recall thinking, “I’ll never make it without pulling out.”
But you make it past the finish line and “SURVIVE”. Then you realize,”I gave it my all and did my best, and I can get better and stronger for the next time.”
At one practice, one of the coaches said, “Some of you think that paddling will help you lose weight and get physically fit, but you must get physically fit to be able to paddle and compete in a race.” For me that meant extra time working out on my own. Trainers, Pilates, yoga, intense walks became part of my life–and participating in half marathons! I worked so hard at getting fit that I earned the title of “Mighty Might” and I am now in my 70’s and still in it to “Win.”
Si se puede.
What has paddling added to my life?
- Purpose goals
- Self esteem
- Physical fitness
- Strive for perfection personally and most importantly, working as a teamwith one purpose: “Winning”.