Skip to main content

Why Dragon Boating and Singing are good together

This video is from our second race in Salem. I'm in the green vest in the very last row.
During practice Sunday I started thinking about Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink. The book talks about how when people reach an expert level at something they approach it differently when approached with a problem. It's because they know what information to discard, what's relevant and what's not. I think once you've reached an expert level at something (for me it's singing), you start to really understand how to analyze new things that you try and how to latch on to what you already know.

That said I've been trying to find parallels in the technicality and physicality of boating that relate to what I know already and so far I have a pretty good list going.

Here's what I got so far.

Dragon Boating Singing
Requires controlled breathing Requires controlled breathing
Has you engage core strength to rotate and pull the paddle Has you release your core and engage it again to control breathing
Coach yells at you if your face gets tense Voice teacher yells at you if your face gets tense
Has multiple physical and technical elements that all have to work together for maximum efficiency (posture, rotation, blade angle, specific muscles engaged and disengaged, arm position) Has multiple elements that have to work together for maximum efficiency (posture, placement, resonance, breathing, expressivity)
Requires time and practice to perfect. Requires time and practice to perfect.
Must be in perfect sync with your teammates by keeping time with the paddler in front of you. (in choir) Must be in perfect sync with fellow singers by keeping time with the conductor in front of you.
Is ten times more difficult if you use the wrong muscles and technique. Is more difficult and unpleasant with the wrong muscles and technique.

These are just some of the comparisons I can think of right now. At any rate, I find myself thinking about these things every time I'm out on the water. If I can teach people to sing, I can get good at paddling! 


  1. dude, you fucking dominated that other boat!

    Rock on Bethany!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Round 2 Day 16

I wish this post had as much positive enthusiasm as the last, but it's been kind of a difficult week. I woke up this morning with a mild headache feeling like I had a hangover. I couldn't think straight and  just felt worn out. I put in for a sub for the morning and went back to bed. After some cold brew and Tylenol I forced myself to teach my afternoon classes, but I'm tired and still feel the pressure on my skull.

Yesterday I woke up in a rage. Rage over the grocery shopping I spent the ENTIRE weekend trying to take care of. Rage over the food I couldn't eat to calm the rage. Rage over how I can't control anyone but myself. Rage over the stupidly over-positive encouraging crap in the day-to-day book I've been using. Shut up book! I'm mad and I want to be mad! I don't want to be told how I can fix it! I just want to be mad!

These seem to be the monologues that keep going around and around in my head.

Angry Feminist Monologue
When did all of the grocery …

Round 2 - Day 1

Happy New Year! I am so relieved to see 2017 come to a close. It was a long, tough, satisfying year and I am happy to be done. I think the two things that were the most life changing last year were moving into our new house and the first Whole30 I completed.

It's been four months since I finished my first Whole30. I remember my delightful barista, Kristina, saying "It's so hard, but so worth it." And I couldn't describe it better. I have tried so many things to lose weight and keep it off and nothing has ever permeated my consciousness like this has. I think about what I'm eating basically always. I haven't gained any of the weight back that I lost even though I haven't considered myself on a diet since September. I am also hyper-aware of how foods affect me.

December was sort of a free-fall. We went to Disneyland and I made the conscious decision to enjoy myself. Disneyland is already a sugar wonderland most of the year, but add in the Christmas them…

Round 2 Day 8

Today was an important day. Today, just now actually, I realized that my energy levels might be better. Here's a highlights list of things I did today:

got up when my alarm went off - wut?ate breakfast at my desk rather than at my kitchen counter where I...updated the opera on tap websiteprepped and packed my lunches for the rest of the weekmade a phone call I'd been putting off to the dress/tuxedo company packed and put return dresses in my car to take to the post officere-taped numbers on my middle school students' chairs (helps me yell at them more efficiently - you go to chair 10!)wrote a sight-singing exercise on the board 15 minutes before my students showed up (usually doing this when they walk in)ate kale salad while teaching my class and didn't cave and show a videoupdated the lcrmea websitesent an email about solo and ensemblegot my paperwork turned in to set up my account so I could send the email about solo and ensemblerewrote a solo &; ensemble flyer/re…