Healers for Life!, Jenin, May 2014

I remember long ago seeing the advertisements for The Treasure Island Dragon Boat Festival sponsored by Kaiser Permanente on the sides of MUNI buses around the city. This was years after a summer dragon boating during my high school days. I remember thinking to myself, "Kaiser has a dragon boat team?! That sounds like so much fun!" Luck would have it that this February, my best friend would ask if I'm interested in joining the Dragon Healers. Little did Kathy know that her unrelenting recruitment skills had gotten her a two for one deal!

The Healers definitely know how to make newbies feel like part of the family. Everyone is so passionate and full of spirit - from Ross reminding us to be patient with our own progress to Kathy shouting "Push! Go Healers!" when my arms feel like they have paddled their last stroke to the encouraging pats from teammates before and after races. Regatta sealed the deal. So many Healers took charge to support one another and unite the team on and off the water. The paddle arch that was held up to cheer on Healers after several races still remains fresh in my mind.

Before I started the season, I thought dragon boat would just be something to do every so often. It has surprisingly become much more - increased fitness, an outlet for stress, and most importantly, new friends. Healers for life!