OC1 Essay Contest Entry - Marcos De La Rosa

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?”

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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


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