Reri P: We are so much more than what you see
As soon as I got the call telling me I had cancer, I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a piece of paper and wrote, “I will win!” This is the mantra I now use in every aspect of my life. While attending the USC Festival of Life event, the Los Angeles Pink Dragons had a booth that peaked my curiosity. I was hooked the moment my paddle hit the water. I knew this was where I was meant to be. I am in the presence of many winners. These women exude perseverance, determination unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
I can’t imagine a weekend without paddling. How can you not be inspired by an 80 year old who has a vision of designing a dragon boat for the Rose Bowl Parade and single handedly wins the hearts of the selection committee?
Dragon boat racing is healing, invigorating and allows me to express who I am. When paddling I lose all worldly thoughts. I become more powerful with each stroke. As a team we race competitively but individually we give our personal best. We race because we can. I used to think it was about the medals but putting your heart and soul into something you believe in creates a passion that may not always equate into gold, silver or bronze.
A full boat carries 22 paddlers and each one of us has a unique journey that brought us here. I continue to win because I feed off of the spirit this boat brings to me. We are so much more than what you see. This boat is filled with possibilities. Look at where we are today!