Dragon Boating: The Importance of Stretching.

Stretching before and after a training session or race keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy, which is very important – especially when using muscles in a repetitive way, such as constant paddling.

Dragon Boating is a physically demanding sport, guaranteed to increase your overall fitness with a combination of strength and endurance training.

But also requires an element of aerobic fitness, and a certain amount of power.

And for power, you need muscles.

While there is obviously an emphasis on upper-body strength, it does well to note that the sport actually comprises of a full-body workout.

When it comes to any kind of exercise, it is important to look after your muscles. And you’ll quickly realise that Dragon Boating works a lot of different muscles.

Besides the obvious muscles groups involved, such as the arms and shoulders, there are a lot of other muscle-groups utilised.

The most worked muscles in Dragon Boating are the following:

  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Core
  • Chest

So how do we look after all these muscles, so they’re kept in powerful, working order?

Stretch!

Stretching is vital when it comes to Dragon Boating in any capacity, whether it be social, competitive or at an elite level.

And while stretching has obvious benefits in warming up your muscles before heading out on the water (sometimes in cold conditions), stretching is also a great way to decrease stress, enhance your range of motion, and improve circulation.

Stretching before and after a training session or race keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy, which is very important – especially when using muscles in a repetitive way, such as constant paddling.

Remember, Dragon Boating is a full-body workout, so it’s really important to check with your coach and devise a warm-up and warm-down plan.

There’s nothing worse than sustaining an injury and being out for part, or all, of the season.

How?

So what stretches can we do to keep our muscles healthy, and reduce the risk of injury?

See the image below for some basic stretches you and your team can try together, to help get your muscles warmed up before jumping in the boat!

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330995083_Popsugar-fullbody-stretch

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Quote Of The Day 12/03/2020

THURSDAY, 12/03/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/796574252826720509/

‘Disappointment is really just a term for our refusal to look on the bright side.’

– Richelle E. Goodrich

Book Review: Normal People.

A review of: Normal People – By Sally Rooney.

Source: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/normal-people

TITLE:

Normal People

AUTHOR:

Sally Rooney

GENRE:

Contemporary/ Fiction

PUBLISHED:

2019

PAGES:

269

GET IT HERE:

booktopia.com.au

Overview:

Normal People, by Sally Rooney, explores the dynamics between two socially opposite people (Connell and Marianne) – and how they clash and also how they come together.

Connell hails from a severely middle-class, single parent background, while Marianne was born into money. On the outside looking in, the two of them appear at odds with the other, yet their connection is somehow unavoidable and oddly romantic, in a very un-romantic kind of way.

My Thoughts:

Normal People had my attention very early on. On a personal level, differences in social class and status hit home for me, and so I was immediately intrigued. Love is often the only common ground between two people, and yet sometimes that’s all that’s needed.

But Rooney’s novel quickly became very repetitive and oftentimes, predictable. Whether this is simply to do with what the title suggests, I cannot say. But I can say I was severely disappointed. The fire I was hoping for was not there, and the ending was one that seemed almost at odds with what the story seemed to convey.

Although I can understand the idea of ‘Normal People’ having normal, uneventful, angst-y and uncomfortable lives, the notion made the novel seem un-novellish. Yes, I know that isn’t a real word. Hopefully you get what I mean without me spoiling too much of it.

Personally, I think some people will find this book better than others, depending on their personal experiences with social classes, status and love itself. For me, I could not seem to find any strong feeling of connection with the ending, although I connected on some level with both the characters.

My Rating: 2/5

Quote Of The Day 11/02/2020

TUESDAY, 11/02/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/458241330833751247/

‘The truth is what you live through, while you’re looking for the truth.’

– Marty Rubin

Quote Of The Day 10/02/2020

MONDAY, 10/02/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/649714683718217820/

‘The life most of us live are lives we are forced to live by immediate needs, influences and pressures.’

– Walter Mosley

Quote Of The Day 29/01/2020

WEDNESDAY, 29/01/2020:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/62487513567133490/

‘Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.’

– Dr. Seuss

San Francisco: Top 5 Things To Do.

A guide to the top 5 things to do in the romantic city of San Francisco.

1. The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is an incredible sight. Declared a Wonder of the Modern World, The Bridge alone sees over 10 million visitors a year – and it’s easy to see why – it’s truly magnificent, whichever angle you look at it.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco, and spans 1.6 kilometres. A good view of the Bridge can be found from multiple vantage points – one of them being from Alcatraz Island – next on the ‘must-see’ list.

WEBSITE: goldengate.org

2. Alcatraz Island & Penitentiary Tour

Alcatraz Island is roughly 2.5 kilometres from the shores of San Francisco. You can get there by boat, with multiple companies sending tourists over every day from the docks.

The Golden Gate Bridge can be seen both by boat and on the island – and if you manage to secure a night-tour of the penitentiary, you can watch the sunset over the Bridge.

Alcatraz holds many secrets and tales of daring escape attempts, having held many famous prisoners, including Al Capone. Walking through its walls and cells is slightly eerie, especially as night falls, however the interactive audio set you are given is incredibly fact-heavy and walks you through at your own pace.

It’s definitely worth seeing if you’re in the area – the history of such a place is definitely very interesting to learn about.

WEBSITE: alcatrazisland.com

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/370843350540032955/?lp=true

3. Fisherman’s Wharf

The Fisherman’s Wharf is a must-see while in San Francisco. There’s plenty to see and do, from shopping at the local market stalls, learning about the history of the area or getting some of the freshest seafood in the city.

Fisherman’s Wharf is close to public transport, the city and has plenty of car-parking. You can hire bikes, visit the old-school arcade or simply wonder along the waterfront. It’s close to the Aquarium of the Bay, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not Museum.

WEBSITE: fishermanswharf.org

4. Lombard Street

Known as the ‘crookedest street’ in the world, Lombard Street has steep hills and curving corners that pass by some amazing Victorian Manors. The street is truly iconic and has amazing views.

Lombard Street attracts a large number of visitors every year, and provides a free, but very photogenic place to visit. It’s not far from the Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square, so if you’re in the area, you may as well check Lombard Street out!

WEBSITE: tripadvisor.com

5. Cable Cars

The Cable Cars in San Francisco are the last manually operated Cable Cars in the world. There are only 3 left in the city, and are a delight to hop on.

You get some excellent views from the Cars, and all in all, it’s a (cheap) and fun experience. They run every 10 minutes or so, and can take you from Union Square to Nob Hill.

For the best views, don’t forget to choose the side of the car that will be closest facing to the bay!

WEBSITE: stftodo.com

DIY: My First Attempt (Planter Pots).

A cute, affordable and fun DIY project – these planter pots make the perfect gifts for any occasion!

DIY/diːʌɪˈwʌɪ/noun

Abbreviation for: do-it-yourself:

The activity of decorating, building, and making repairs at home by oneself rather than employing a professional.

‘DIY avoids the difficult relationship between householder and professional decorator.’

DIY Projects never really appealed to the laziness in me. However, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.

For those of you who know me, you’ll know that my partner is obsessed with plants. We even have a walk-in greenhouse in our house’s sun-room.

So while I was watching him tend to his plants one morning, I had a great idea for a DIY Project/ Christmas Gift Idea.

Why not make some pretty pots for all those pretty plants?

So I started Googling ideas for DIY pot plants, to get some ideas. I found so many amazing DIY ideas, but I am a rookie, so I started filtering out some of the harder looking projects and opted for something more ‘beginner-friendly’.

I settled on the following sites for inspiration, which I found via Pinterest and a few blogs (see below):

MY INSPIRATION CAME FROM:

This was a site that I found really helpful, as it had a list of all the materials I would need, plus a step-by-step guide (very handy for those who have not used a hot-glue gun since Kindergarten).

I chose this kind of style for my pots, because I think they look super beachy and they give off a real hand-made, ‘market’ type of vibe.

Although I chose slightly different lettering etc., this was a really awesome guide for me to stick to.

The next thing I needed on my DIY journey was a bit of ‘plant pun’ inspiration.

I wanted to find some cute little plant related quotes for the pots (Pinterest delivered the goods!) and get some ideas on different lettering.

This little blog page really helped me to start thinking of my own puns and quotes.

The last source of inspiration is a local business in Adelaide, South Australia (where I live). Unfortunately, they have decided to close their business for a while and focus on personal things.

A few of my old work colleagues had pot plants from Rub a Dub Shrub, and the plants always looked so nice in their offices!

I’ve also seen these guys around at local markets etc., and really loved the designs and puns they came up with.

And with that, I got started!

WHAT?

WHERE?

HOW MUCH?

So for me, a really big part of this project was to keep the cost down – I wanted to make some really cute presents for Christmas and birthday gifts, without it costing me a fortune and defeating the purpose.

I wanted these pot plants to be cheaper to make than it would be to go to the market and purchase something similar.

WHAT

Terracotta Pots

Spray Paint

Twine/ Jute Rope

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Gun Refills

Stamp Set

Clear Coat Spray

Plants

WHERE

Bunnings

Bunnings

K-mart

K-mart

K-mart

K-mart

Bunnings

Cuttings from Partner

HOW MUCH

$1.60 ea

$12.88

$4 ea

$8

$3 ea

$8

$17.98

Free

PRICE COMPARISON:

In total, I bought 15 terracotta pots ($24), 2 cans of spray paint ($25.76), 2 rolls of twine ($8), 1 hot glue gun ($8), 3 glue gun refills ($9), 1 stamp set ($8) and 1 can of clear coat spray ($17.98).

So the total for 15 completed pots ended up being:

15 DIY/ HOMEMADE POTS:

TOTAL =

15 Home-made Pots:

$102.74

15 STORE BOUGHT POTS:

TOTAL =

15 x $27.95 (RRP Rub a Dub Shrub):

$419.25

That price comparison was crazy to me – the DIY pots ended up costing roughly $6.85 each to make. And they turned out very, very well (for a first-time DIYer, anyway)!

THE PROCESS:

STEP ONE:

Wash the pots, let them dry, and then spray paint them with the white paint.

My partner and I ended up putting down a plastic sheet and spraying all the pots on that – we gave them 2 coats of paint in the end, which seemed to work fine.

IDEA: You could always change up the colours, or create stenciled patterns if you were feeling creative – I went with plain white to accentuate the black lettering I was planning on using.

STEP TWO:

Use the hot glue gun to add the twine to the top lip of the pots.

I struggled at first with the glue gun and where to start with the twine, but after a bit of trial and error, managed to work it out and create something that looked reasonable.

TIP: Start the twine from the top of the lip, but don’t start from the inside of the top, or the pot will look wonky. Pull the twine tight as you go and try and push the twine together as much as possible, this helps lessen any gaps in between the twine.

STEP THREE:

After you’ve let the twine and glue set, you can then add the lettering.

I used a generic stamp set from K-mart, nothing fancy – with normal stamp ink.

I picked out some of the plant puns I liked and thought up a few different quotes to stamp onto the pots (see image).

TIP: Stamping can be a bit hit-and-miss in terms of getting the lettering straight etc., but I’ve found that having lettering that’s a little bit wonky can add to the ‘home-made’ touch. But if you’re really not happy with your stamping or have made a mistake, I found I could wipe off the ink with a tissue or earbud if it hadn’t dried yet!

STEP FOUR:

Clear-coat your pots.

I’m not sure if everyone does this, but I didn’t want to risk the ink on the sides of the pots running if someone watered their plants and accidentally spilled some.

I used the Boyle Gloss Spray Sealer.

Clear-coating/ sealing is a good thing to do anyway, as this will help protect the pots from weathering, ageing and wear and tear.

TIP: I used a few coats of the clear-coat on my pots – simply hold the can at around 30cm distance and spray all over – it doesn’t matter if you get some on the twine as it is colourless.

STEP FIVE:

Pot your plants.

I let my partner do this, as he is the expert when it comes to plants, but choosing the plants is completely up to you.

We put a variety of different plants in, such as Ivy, Aloe Vera and plants that I don’t know the names of (I’ll have to add them in another post).

IDEA: Succulents are a great idea for this, as they are hardy – so even your friends and family who aren’t ‘green-thumbs’ can enjoy a long-living plant. They’re also quite cheap (or you can get cuttings from someone’s garden for free). Plus there are plenty of succulent-related puns to pair them with!

STEP SIX:

Wrap/ decorate your finished product!

I decided it would be better not to fully wrap the plants, for obvious reasons, and decided to put a little bow on the pot instead, and pop them into Christmas ‘gift-bags’ I got from the Reject Shop (2-pack for $2.50).

It’s really up to you how you decide to wrap/decorate your pots – but there’s plenty of ideas on Pinterest – click here for some ideas.

Finished Product:

(Thanks to my sister Nikyta for taking some photos of the pots I gave her!)

Well, I did it – I finally finished my first DIY project! It was so much fun to have a creative outlet and be able to give them as gifts for Christmas.

Hopefully over the next couple of months I can try out a few other DIY ideas and share my results with you.

Let me know if you’ve done something similar, or try out the above – I’d love to see your results!

Logo

Done & Dusted!

10 Holiday Gift Ideas For Dragon Boaters

Here are 10 great gift ideas for the paddlers in your life!

It’s that time of year again…!

… And if it’s that time of year again, that means: PRESENTS!

You’re probably already aware that some of us are decidedly more difficult to buy for… AKA the Dragon Boaters among us.

You know the ones… The ones that don’t seem to have anything else to talk about besides paddling, paddling and more paddling.

So if you’re stumped for things to buy your Dragon Boating loved ones this holiday season, stress no more! Here are 10 great gift ideas for the paddlers in your life:

Number One:

Source: https://www.hornetwatersports.com/products/dragon-boat-bag

A PADDLE BAG.

Help your loved ones keep their paddles safe, while also carrying them around in style.

This paddle bag from Hornet Watersports is tried and tested – I personally bought one for a paddling friend, and they loved it.

It fits most standard paddles, has a stitched logo and a front padded pocket to keep your stuff safe.

What: Dragon Boat Paddle Bag (Black)

Price: $50

Where: Hornet Watersports

Number Two:

WATER SHOES.

Sick of stinky sneakers and damp socks lying around the house? Aqua shoes are the perfect alternative – plus they’re comfy and quick drying!

I have a pair myself, and they have lasted me over a year now. After training I simply give them a rinse or throw them through the washing machine and voila! Done.

What: Men’s Prologue 1.0 Round Toe Aqua Shoes Black 5

Price: $23.99

Where: BCF Australia

Source: https://www.bcf.com.au/p/mens-prologue-1.0-round-toe-aqua-shoes/M55996801.html?dwvar_M55996801_color=Black&cgid=BCF061015#sz=12&start=14

Number Three:

Source: https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/dragon-boat-race-80103

LEGO DRAGON BOAT MODEL.

If you’re after something more novelty, this is certainly a fun idea! LEGO released a limited edition Dragon Boat Set, and they’ve been incredibly popular!

What: Chinese Dragon Boat Race 2019 Asia Exclusive

Price: $70 (varies depending on availability)

Where: Amazon

Number Four:

SHAKTI MAT LIGHT.

This is always a popular gift!

Promoting blood circulation, relaxation and restoration, this is the perfect gift for those suffering from sore, stiff or aching muscles.

What: Shakti Mat Light

Price: $69

Where: Shakti Mats Australia

Source: https://www.shaktimats.com.au/collections/all/products/shakti-mat-light-yellow

Number Five:

Source: https://www.underarmour.com.au/en-au/ua-undeniable-duffel-4.0-medium-duffle-bag/192810227774.html?dwvar_192810227774_size=OSFA&dwvar_192810227774_color=290&&cid=PLA%7cau%7call%7cggl%7call%7call%7call%7csmartshopping%7call%7call%7cPR&gclid=CjwKCAjw0vTtBRBREiwA3URt7haoTo1gcPYHX7N-Sp19fvGsf2lvlZgEowGOmPkncb1vJk2tfKqcRRoC6o8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

WATERPROOF GYM BAG.

There’s nothing worse than carting around a damp, stinky bag filled with damp, stinky training gear.

This 100% Polyester, waterproof bag has sections for dirty laundry and shoes, as well as internal organisation slips.

What: UA Undeniable Duffel 4.0 Medium Duffle Bag

Price: $65

Where: Under Armour

Number Six:

LONG SLEEVE COMPRESSION SHIRT.

2XU is one of the leading brands for compression-wear. Compression wear promotes posture, performance and recovery – while also providing a light-weight, breathable training top.

This particular shirt comes in male and female configurations and is a great gift idea – or if you’re unsure on sizing, get them a 2XU gift card!

What: 2XU Long Sleeve Compression Top

Price: $120

Where: 2XU

Source: https://www.2xu.com/dw/image/v2/AAXS_PRD/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-txu-master-catalog/default/dw241432a1/images/MA2308a/MA2308a_BLK-SIL.jpg?sw=296&sh=368&sm=fit

Number Seven:

Source: https://cdn10.bigcommerce.com/s-kvxitxv8/products/130/images/550/97110_4_grip_tape_on_paddle__68361.1485696592.1280.1280.png?c=2

GRIP TAPE.

Grip tape is often overlooked, but vitally important when it comes to paddling.

Burnwater Grip Tape has microscopic gas bubbles in the tape that activate the rubber so that it permanently sticks only to itself – and it comes in nine different colours, so your loved one can match their paddle to their team colour!

What: Fusion Paddle Grip Tape

Price: $17

Where: Burnwater

Number Eight:

Source: https://jpx2.com.au/collections/dragon-boat-accessories?page=2

PADDLING GLOVES.

Paddling gloves provide protection from blisters, and help paddlers keep a firm grip while training and racing.

These neoprene gloves are a perfect gift idea, and are easy to wash. Bonus!

What: Gloves – NRS Fingerless

Price: $40

Where: JPX2

Number Nine:

WATER SPORT SUNGLASSES.

A friend of mine recently bought a (very) expensive pair of sunglasses, only to lose them a week later in the lake while he was paddling.

These sunglasses are water-sport specific, polarized and designed to float. They can also be converted to prescription if needed. Problem solved!

What: Classic Jet Specs

Price: $49.95 (more for prescription)

Where: SeaSpecs

Source: https://www.seaspecs.com/classic-jet-specs-p-30

Number Ten:

NECK PROTECTION.

This neck buff can be used to keep the sun off your neck, keep the bugs out of your mouth, or to provide a wind-block in winter.

On hot days, you can soak it in water to keep you cool instead!

What: Hornet Buffs

Price: $15

Where: JPX2

Source: https://jpx2.com.au/collections/dragon-boat-accessories/products/hornet-buff-blue

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Quote Of The Day 03/07/2019

WEDNESDAY, 03/07/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/467389267562714382/

‘The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.’

– Karl Kraus