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Senior dragon boat team ready for Oklahoma Regatta Festival

A dragon boat team made up of retirement village residents will be part of the Oklahoma Regatta Festival.
by Heather Warlick Modified: September 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm •  Published: September 24, 2012
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/articleid/3712681/1/pictures/1841157">Photo - Senior citizens from Spanish Cove Retirement Village with paddles up as they prepare to go dragon boating on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012.  Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman <strong>PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND - PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND</strong>
Senior citizens from Spanish Cove Retirement Village with paddles up as they prepare to go dragon boating on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND - PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND

“It's something that not one of us had an idea of doing a year ago,” said Lois Cain, 76, a team member and Spanish Cove resident. “Sometimes you limit yourself ... we're stepping out of our boxes and doing something new.”

Paddling on a dragon boat team isn't as strenuous as it looks, Cain said, though she keeps in shape by line dancing and other activities.

For Cain, the most challenging aspects of dragon boating are staying in rhythm with the drummer and in sync with all the other rowers.

“You know, I'm not a water person. So at my age, going out on the water was something I decided I would conquer,” Cain said. And conquer it she has. Miller said Cain is one of her best paddlers. “It's all about coordination and rhythm. You just put it all together and work with a whole team.”

For some of the other senior team members, getting in and out of the boat is a challenge, Miller said, because they're going from a floating dock to a floating boat. Keeping balanced can be tough in that situation.

But once the senior team is in the boat, it's all about the water, the rhythm set by the drummer and the instructions of the helmsman.

Miller said she hopes her team of senior paddlers will inspire other groups of seniors to follow suit.

“I think it shows them that if there is something they want to get out there and do, they can do anything that they put their hearts and minds into,” Miller said.

by Heather Warlick
Life & Style Editor
Since graduating from University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Staff Writer Heather Warlick has written stories for The Oklahoman's Life section. Her beats have included science, health, home and garden, family,...
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