I grew up living near the ocean. For me, being on the water feels like meditation. Just after I finished my treatment, one of my chemo buddies talked me into joining her in a ‘learn to row’ weekend sponsored by WeCanRowDC. We were part of a motley crew ranging in age from 20’s to 70+. It was an amazing experience. WeCanRowDC is a team of breast cancer survivors that rows for fun on the Potomac River near the Watergate & Lincoln Memorial and races in world class regattas including the Head of the Charles. Go Team!
A couple of years ago, I also joined GoPink!DC. This DC-based team was formed four years ago by two NIH scientists and is just one of a rapidly growing number of dragon boat teams of breast cancer survivors on all continents. Our team includes women in treatment currently, some who finished recently, and women who are long-term survivors.
I’m kind of a jock, but a lot of my teammates aren’t. And that’s what I like about these teams. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. And neither do we. I love watching new members go from defining themselves as cancer patients/survivors to identifying as athletes. The experience is empowering on so many levels.
So, why do I tell you this? Because I urge you to get on the water too. Rowing and dragon boating help survivors rebuild physical strength and mental focus, renew self-image, and develop bonds with women who have had similar cancer experiences. If you live in the Washington DC area, you’re welcome to join us. Check out our sites, GoPink!DC and WeCanRowDC,to learn more about our teams and to find links to teams in your area. *Shameless self-promotion alert* – if you want to donate money to GoPink!DC, here’s a link or that too!
If you decide to try out rowing or dragon boating, be sure to follow up and let me know how you like it. Who knows……maybe one day you’ll be either on our team or racing against us. Enjoy!