refreshing repeats and rivalry

My eyes opened at 5:45am this morning. It’s still only mid-March, so the sun wasn’t even coming through my window yet. The sun was still a just golden globe suspended over Taiwan’s mountainous horizon as I got off the bus at Guting MRT Station and walked briskly down the alley that took me to the opening of the field. There they were, gathered at the regular spot near the track. I started jogging towards them and was enthusiastically greeted with “好久不見!” “早安!” (Long time no see!) (Good morning!)

Dragon boat land-training has begun again. From now until we start rowing on the river every day at the end of April/beginning of May, Team Max members will gather Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 6:30am during the week for core and strength training and then on weekends train on the river.

It was good to be out there again. This is my second year, and I already know why I’ve decided to do it again. The Shi-Da team, which happens to be our strongest rivals, practice the same time we do, but on a different part of the field. There’s always a healthy amount of competitive spirit whenever we encounter each other. Then there’s all the familiar faces who are back for more. Team Max just can’t get enough.

Team Max 2012 Land Training. The team last year! Many of these same faces have returned. 

For me personally, this marks the beginning of another season full of long days and both physical challenge and exhaustion. During dragon boat season, I always find myself eating much healthier and sleeping more and practicing time-management is no longer an option. The second round doing things like this is always better, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m already in better shape at the beginning of this season than I was last year. It’s gonna be good.

Repeats and old rivalry can be so refreshing. Routine has a way of restoring stability.

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