"The Comeback Kid" 

So I came back.

Last season, I gave this dragonboating thing a try.  I wasn’t sure it was for me; I can’t swim, it’s hard work, I don’t consider myself a competitive person. Besides, black people don’t do water sports. (Wrong!)


I couldn’t deny what brought me back after all was said and done.

Despite the fact that I was on a team that won a gold medal. (never mind that it was first place in a consolation race, first place is first place!)

Despite the practices being out there on Lake Merced where it is often cold and windy; (I hate cold and windy), where we sometimes practice in rainy weather, and where the dock will actually sink below our feet if too many of us are on it……….

Despite the aches and pains we all complain of, especially after a particularly grueling practice, having to do sit-up and push-ups (which I hate), or making practice at EIGHT O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING!!! (I’m NOT a morning person.)

Despite my feeling that I can never quite get comfortable on that hard plank of a seat.

It’s the camaraderie.

It’s being on a team.

It’s accomplishing something as a team.

It’s getting good at something I never even dreamed I’d do.

And yes, I’m admitting that it’s fun.

I now use a seat pad. 

Earlier this year I endured a serious health issue.  I had a stroke.  I lost the use of my left arm and hand.  It turned out that I also have a previously undisclosed heart condition that probably caused the stroke.  Having had a stroke would’ve been the perfect excuse to drop out.

But I looked forward to returning.  The truth is, returning motivated me to work hard with my therapists so that I could return.  I t gave me something to look forward to, something to work for.  In fact, my doctors encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing because I was doing so well. 

I went back to work early so I could come back to dragonboating.  How crazy is that? 

Our captain kept us motivated with off season “boot camp” so we could stay in shape. I went. Staying in shape is much easier when you’re doing it with others and the others share your interests. It paid off. 

We just got back from Vancouver, the one in British Colombia.  We won gold there, too, in a first of its kind Health Care Cup for health care teams. 

How could I not come back for that?