Location: Friendswood, Texas, United States

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Moving forward

Sunday after teaching rowing, I was given the opportunity to try paddling first a dragon boat then a single outrigger canoe. Since I’d been on the water since 6:30am (I started the gorgeous morning by stroking an eight) and it was now noon, I was pretty hot and tired.
I found the dragon boat to be more of a chore. Perhaps because the boat is meant to seat about 20 and we were only four. However, the single outrigger was really fun.
The paddle is bent (like other things that seem to work well never-the-less;-). And is held in what appears to be an upside down position! Keep an open mind (I tell myself that a lot) – holding it with the bend down so that it curves up seemed to help make the release from the water cleaner.
I first spun it around – then realized that this vessel goes forward - you face the bow! I didn’t realize that I am so conditioned to move backward through the water!!!! My next snafu was to take a huge stroke forward, weight balanced. In the water I went – it is a water sport after all! Getting back in didn’t take long - besides, I got a round of applause from the docks and cooled off a bit. The outrigger is on the left, so you have to lean your weight a bit to that side. It made me wonder… If you lined up a group of outrigger paddlers, would their glutes be lopsided? Mind you, I was picturing male glutes to include in the study. As a former member of LSU quadrangle male score card committee, I feel that I would be uniquely qualified. Another difference I found is that there are two steering peddles so that your feet can move just a bit to turn the boat. The outrigger takes upper body and torso strength, doesn’t use the legs to power the stroke. This was unfortunate for me especially that morning since what pitiful stomach muscles I now have were mush by that time. I was still able to get around using primarily arms and shoulders.
I’ll probably try it again!


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