This year Blazing Paddles participated in the 8th Annual Hope Float Boat Parade on Las Olas benefiting Tomorrow's Rainbow!
Tomorrow’s Rainbow is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide grief support to children through the use of miniature horses. BP was invited to launch a dragon boat as well as host a tent at this year’s Hope Floats on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at Esplanade Park, in Fort Lauderdale.
The memorial paper boat parade featured a 24-foot paper boat, and kayakers towing rafts of smaller paper boats decorated by families commemorating their loved ones. BP had the privilege of paddling the only dragon boat in the parade. There was also great music, food trucks, a bounce house, crafts, games, prizes, and some of the miniature horses from the Tomorrow’s Rainbow farm.
At our BP tent, kids (and their parents) got to try out banging one of our dragon boat drums and learn more about the sport. We were thrilled to be part of this great event and worthy cause, and have been asked to come back next year. Hope to see you at the next Hope Floats!
#blazingpaddles took two #dragonboats to the 2016 Florida Renaissance Festival at Deerfield FL last March 5 and 6.
March 5-6 was the festivals’ “Voyage to the Orient” weekend and the #pirates provided patrons with Dragon Boat Rides for a $5 donation that benefits our non-profit org- SOAR.
Kids, kings, queens, jesters, Port Royal Buccaneers, swordmen, clowns, musicians, anyone and everybody who had the chance experienced to paddle, enjoy the ride and get the full dragon boat experience!
We hope that you had a wonderful holiday with your friends and family, enjoyed all the guilty pleasures that come along with such, and are now ready to commit to an active, healthy lifestyle for the 2016.
Going from a New Year’s resolution to an action plan doesn’t have to be difficult. We often fail to act on our health resolutions because they tend to restrict what we love to eat or force us to participate in activities we don’t necessarily enjoy – such as going to a noisy, crowded gym to get on a cardio machine or weight training machine. But what if you could change all of that and find the perfect motivator to act on your resolutions and make some simple lifestyle adjustments? Here are some tips and how we can help you achieve your goals:
Think about the difference each of these things could make for you. You are taking the right step. Whether you decide to try dragon boating or another team sport, incorporate a couple of simple and healthy adjustments into your life. Should you decide to give dragon boating a try, Blazing Paddles will welcome you with open and toned arms.
Blazing Paddles is accepting new members. So what does Broward County’s only dragon boat racing team look for when it seeks new members? Looking at the team’s competitive successes (a world record, two-time defending champion in the dragonboat division of the MR340, an IDBF Community Division World Championship, and multiple championships in festivals, etc.) you might assume that we are mostly looking for extremely fit, experienced paddlers. If so, the reality will surprise you.
Our number one priority in considering any potential recruit is attitude. The ideal candidate is team-oriented, someone who wants to see the TEAM do well, and is willing to help make that happen. We rely on team members to not only train so that their skills and fitness will improve, but to contribute to all of the things that make the team successful in the long term: recruiting and retention of other members, maintenance of our boat and other equipment, planning travel for races, arranging social outings for the team, getting pictures and video that we can use for training and promotion, and all of the myriad other tasks that let the team grow and prosper. We don’t need prima donnas, we need teammates who will pitch in and “get ‘er done.”
We want teammates who are motivated to do their best. People who want to get into great shape. People who enjoy working on their technique so that they can become more efficient, better paddlers. Folks who are excited about the support the team offers when it comes to fitness and working out and learning to paddle well. And who are willing to push themselves to get into better shape. And then go celebrate with their teammates by going bowling, or to dinner and a movie, or paintball, or on a camping trip and one of Florida’s beautiful springs.
Our team is very diverse. At the moment, the youngest person on the team is 19 years old, and the oldest is 76. We have students, retirees, acupuncturists, lawyers, business executives, entrpreneurs, artists, accountants, scientists, skilled craftsmen, court reporters – people from all walks of life. We have teammates of many different ethnicities, and varied religious traditions. So we want people who embrace that diversity, and who know how to get along with others.
What about paddling experience? We have been fortunate to occasionally have someone come to the team having already paddled competitively. However, the vast majority of our members came to us with no such experience, and many without any significant athletic experience. We can teach you all you need to know. Because we all had to learn and can remember that others were patient with us as we were learning, and because we are accustomed to teaching beginners, we are patient with those who are new to the sport, and doing their best to get up to speed. Newcomers frequently comment on how welcoming our veteran paddlers are, and how well the team supports people just getting started.
What about fitness? Occasionally someone will come to the team already quite fit. But that is the exception. Sometimes a potential paddler will tell me that they will come out to try to join the team after they get in shape. That is putting the cart before the horse. If you would like to build a strong core, and good base of cardio fitness, join now. Come to practice. Workout with your teammates. Before you know it, you will see gains in fitness. And at the same time you will be developing your skills as a paddler and getting ready to race.
In sum, we are not looking primarily for the fittest, most skilled paddlers. We are looking for potential teammates who will be loyal, dedicated and supportive, and who will be a part of keeping Blazing Paddles the most fun team on the water or off. If you have those qualities, we can help you build the fitness and skills to be an excellent paddler.
Captain “Iron” Will Murphy
Approaching middle age, I have become determined to become the fittest person I know. I have resolved not to become entangled in the slothfulness of the sedentary lifestyle that so easily besets many others today but rather to live the best possible life that I can. The life I want demands health and strength, so I have fully embraced an active lifestyle. I have become enamored with the outdoors. I run regularly, having completed several half-marathons and many 5K races.
Fitness is also why I joined Blazing Paddles’ dragon boat racing team. Sea wind in my face; sea splash on my brow; the sparkle of ocean water in the sunshine, moonlight or city lights; the close proximity to salt life – these are powerful motivators! Why wouldn’t anyone want to get on a boat? Dragon boating offers all of these perks and a whole lot more, in a slightly more aggressive fashion. It not only offers the opportunity to be up close and personal with water but it also challenges you to face yourself, explore your limits and reach your ultimate fitness goals.
Joining Blazing Paddles was a “no-brainer.” Dragon boating combines my love of water with the prospect of adventure. This sport has given me the opportunity to become a better-rounded athlete. It is the perfect complement to the other sporting activities I enjoy. Taken as a whole, my sporting activities have transformed me in the most literal sense, physically and mentally. Dragon boating with the Blazing Paddles team has become a major part of that transformation. Being part of their team offers something extra, something not found in the solitary disciplines of running, cycling and swimming. It delivers camaraderie! Here is an opportunity to get to know other sports-minded individuals from varied backgrounds and bond in ways that only a team can. Practice sessions are intense but fun, and most of all, my teammates are supportive. It didn’t take me long to feel at home.
My next challenge is the completion of my first full marathon in about 6 months. I cycle; I can go the distance on a road bike and handle my own on a mountain-bike trail. I also swim. Last year, I completed my first sprint triathlon; I plan to complete another this year and hopefully an Olympic-distance triathlon next year. In addition to these activities, I enjoy tennis, snorkeling, canoeing and camping. And, of course, I now paddle!
What’s my advice? If you’re sitting on the sidelines and you feel like life is rushing by and you need some adventure, get active. Life is way too short! If you love being near water and nature, consider dragon boating. You will experience the outdoors in a unique way that only this sport can offer. Hey, even the British Royals are into dragon boating these days; you’ll be in great company. If you want to surround yourself with an awesome bunch of people who love to compete, thirst for adventure and are committed to reaching the top of their game, join Blazing Paddles.
Blazing Paddles Member since February 2011