So I've lived in Tuscaloosa for 3 years now and I've heard of Dragon Boat races but I've never been to them.
Well that all changed this past Saturday!
A friend of mine works for the lovely people at McAbee Construction and invited me to be on the team! I was honored and honestly a little scared. What if I was horrible at this? What if I dragged the team down?
Saturday morning we arrived and there were WAY more people then I had expected! I think there were like 20+ teams competing and people take this VERY seriously! As soon as we got their we basically had to get ready to race, and I'll admit I was nervous! We got in the boat and paddled out to line up. The team next to us was chanting and yelling. My seat buddy kept it light and funny though, "don't look into their eyes!" he told me! I was ready! Paddles in the water and next thing we are off! Racing down the water! I can see we are neck and neck with the boat next to us but I try and block them out! My arms burning for a break, I think I want to give up and we cross the finish line! I have no clue where we placed but the whole team was excited so I was excited!
We got a good break between races and they did a drummer parade. The drummer is the person on your boat that keeps the rhythm so we can paddle together. Ours was a dragon, since our team was "Strokin' The Dragon". They had a lot of good costumes thought! Jack Sparrow, and old man, and some girl with super legit baton skills.
Next thing I know its time for our second race. Again we get in the boat, paddle out, line up and get ready to go. The whistle blows and we're off! Things felt a lot smoother this go around but my arms still felt like jello! I pushed through the pain! We crossed the finish line headed to the dock and waited to see our times and if we would advance on. Sadly we did not advance! I think most of us were so tired at that point that we were OK with it, or maybe that was just me, haha!
If you've ever thought about doing it, I definitely recommend you do! It was so much fun! PLUS it all goes towards helping out Junior League of Tuscaloosa! Over the past 5 years they have raised more than $100,000 to continue promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Let me tell you, the volunteers they had out Saturday were AMAZING! Everything from helping to direct traffic, to gathering up the different groups to get prepped for the race. They made everything run very smoothly! If you'd like to learn more about Junior League Tuscaloosa, click here.