Two years ago, I was shanghai’d onto a dragon boat crew for the annual races in Toronto. It was more fun that I thought that it would be, I actually got some exercise at least once a week at practice, and we raised money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Recently, I came across an email that I wrote at the time wherein I described how the practice sessions drove me to make comparisons between dragon boating and bad sex:
- Everyone looks clumsy getting in and out, and if you’re lucky, no one falls overboard in the process.
- Getting things in synch is trickier than it looks: not only do you have to learn to dip it in at the right time, but also to take it out at the right time.
- The participants spend most of the time looking at someone else to see if they’re doing it right.
- It’s all about that extra six inches in the stroke.
- The main event takes about 100 strokes and is over in about two minutes.
Amusing myself by thinking of these points was the only thing that kept me from jumping overboard some nights as our coach barked orders at us, and my right hand slowly became numb from the cold water.