The following submission was made as an entry to win a OC1 from an amazingly generous donor, who wanted to see the canoe truly enjoyed, rather than turn a profit. Entrants were asked to submit an essay answering the following:
- Part 1: “Describe how paddling has changed your life.”
- Part 2: “How do you plan to use this canoe, and perhaps someday pass it along?”
Marcos De La Rosa, California
I was introduced to SF Dragon Warriors by a fellow church goer Eddie Alvarez. I got interested in wanting to paddle after watching a competition last year at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Eddie informed me of a Friends and Family event that was coming up and if I was serious, I should sign up and attend, so I did. That was back in January.
I initially wanted to join as exercise, something to help me get in shape. So I joined the team. The Dragon Warriors had something else in mind! I was a team member now and they are going to push and encourage me to get to a level of competing. At first I couldn't even breathe, in order to do that I had to quit smoking! Before the team, I wouldn't quit even for my wife or my Doctor, who kept insisting for me to quit! I started pedaling a stationary bike during the week and walking 5 miles on the Saturdays to try to build my stamina.
Here we are in June and although I have only lost 2 lbs since I have started, I feel more fit. My chest is getting bigger. I will admit I don't see a lot of physical change but being diabetic, I have noticed my sugar numbers have dropped to almost normal levels.
Being a part of SF Dragon Warriors I have a big family. Always encouraging and motivating to get us through practice and to push ourselves to the next level. We are a team, teaching us to hold ourselves accountable! We all push the boat, not just 1 person. If I was considering to win the OC1 , I would not only use it to make me a better paddler. I would also let anyone on the team that wanted OC1 time to borrow it as well.
Thank you for your time and consideration, Marcos De La Rosa