Dragon Healers

Post Script - Ross

Our goals for this trip were: 1.) Make it to the start line; 2.) Make it to the finish line; and, 3.) Come home without getting sick or injured.  Everyone met each goal.  The first goal was the hardest - Making it to the start line.  All the meetings, e-mails and energizing everyone to show up for the training paddles was difficult.  When we had drop-outs it was nerve racking to find others who may be interested.  Fortunately, we know enough folks in the Dragon Boat community that are excited paddlers up for any challenge.  Working out the logistics and letting everyone know what their options were and talking them into the best option was the most work.  At times there required minor leaps of faith - like when we wired several hundreds of dollars to strangers in a land far away and when we each took care of our own arrangements.  I would definitely do this trip again - if I didn't have to organize it.  The second goal wasn't really difficult, but there were lots of "punches" we had to roll with - any one of which could have knocked us out.  Although not difficult, this was the most serious of the goals.  Some moments were disgusting and some moments were life threatening.  You had to deal with whatever the river threw at you all the while still looking down river and being ready to deal with the next punch.  The river will surprise you.  A quick decision will save you time and can save your life.  You just have to be able to deal with anything and keep going.  A short memory helps.  Taking Mike C.'s advice (most of which did not hold up) or not taking his advice is all part of "the game".  I think it is possible with our orange submarine to shave off about an hour and a half.  Knowing the river and knowing which of Mike C.'s advice to take would all contribute to shaving off that amount of time.  The third goal required a bit of luck and a little interpretation.  I say all of us came home without getting sick or injured.  We all met the third goal.  Now, it is true that a couple of us had severe sunburns.  Cecilia's was the worst.  But, these sunburns did not "lay us up" or otherwise disqualify us from achieving the third goal.  Also, most of us came home with diarrhea type symptoms, but it wasn't the type where we had to stay with reach of a bathroom or had uncontrollable urges.  So, we really weren't sick.  Anyway, what we accomplished was huge - bigger than any personal issues or disagreements with each other while on the raft.  None of that other stuff matters and is small compared to what we accomplished.  We should all be very proud of ourselves.  We have done something that not many in this world have done.  A big part of our survival and success is due to our Dragon Boat training and discipline.  We were able to avoid disaster because everyone was able to stay focused and to quickly respond to a one or two word command as a team.  Everyone knew what to do.  We had a great crew that performed well.  Thanks and congratulations!  Ross