Oct 15, 2019

By Janet Ready, faculty & Amy Wong, Student 

In RECR 1160 Foundations of Leisure and Recreation class we learn Flow theory, Deep Play and Peak Experiences.  Students are asked to share a story that connects to the concept of Flow in recreation.  I asked Amy if I could share her story in our blog from our Week 2 Discussion Question – there are thoughtful and exciting connections to flow, the power of human powered recreation and community:

Amy’s Week 2 DQ Initial post

        2 years ago, I joined a recreational dragon boat team. My main reason for joining was to get better at socializing in groups. I also had the goal of improving my fitness at the back of my mind. It was something I wanted to try once a week for fun.

            Dragon boating is a lot harder than it looks. The first several weeks of paddling, I almost wanted to cry, because every night, I would come home with no feeling in my shoulders and lower back. I felt so pathetic, because I was doing something so extreme, just to make friends. However, I told myself to stay because I wanted to show the people around me the strength and fitness I could achieve.

            As the months went on, I started building more strength and stamina during race pieces. Each 2 minute piece began to go by faster and easier. I was able to numb out the pain I felt in my body and focus on technique and better form. As the technique and form got better, I became much more used to steady paddling, and I started to slip into a smooth flow, following my teammates in the boat, and keeping in time easily. Paddle pull, paddle out, paddle pull, paddle out.

            Fast forward to the future, and for 2 months I have been on a competitive team. I now paddle 3-5 times a week and have been working on my fitness at the gym to compliment it. Paddling once a week, was not enough for me, because I fell in love with such an extraordinary sport. Each practice is deep-play for me because I can escape the stress and duties of my life. I love going to practice and interacting with a community that makes me feel like I have a second home. I could go back to my real home and talk about it non-stop.

            I’m of the weakest on my new team, and each day and week my whole body is sore, but I’ve learned that soreness is only a symbol of knowing that I pushed myself to my limit. I know that I can continue growing physically and mentally as person, and it’s a sport I know I will continue for as long as my body allows me to.

Here is an image of my previous team at the Concord Pacific DB Festival, June 2019. Their team name is Have A Nice Day, and yes, each practice I Had A Nice Day.

dragon boat