Some time in 1997, I picked up a paddle for the first time. It was for a canoe during my JC's annual canoeing carnival. And it was a disaster as I gave up the cute senior for a classmate as a partner.
Then it was 2000. I practised capsize drills in the pool, paddled around Ubin, and finally around SG in a four day kayaking expedition in OBS. The experience erased the horrible incident of the canoe; I'm no longer adverse to canoeing/kayaking.
Back to the same day in 1997. The dragon boat team was short of girls. Hence, I raced across the river once more with a different paddle in a different boat, an unwilling participant.
Fast forward to 2005. Yesterday, to be exact. I took to the paddle once more at the same place.
Eight years ago, I didn't think I would ever do dragon boating again. But there I was, getting wet with 40 other people and a paddle in my hands. When a boat with paddlers in blue passed us by, and a few boats with paddlers in red were racing in front of us, I was suddenly reminded of the significance, however small, of this event.
The first time, I was wearing Science B Tshirt and PE shorts in our national red, down at Kallang by obligation, with barely an interest in rowing sports. Two years later, I supported the Blues - btw, they won this year's race :) And two years after I left Oxford, I signed myself up - voluntarily, and quite excitedly if I may add - for this healthy lifestyle event. I realised that the term rowing no longer just referred to the nursery rhyme; it reminds me of Oxford.
I don't know if it's unfortunate that I live in my memories, as in, I seem to like to relate current events to memorable events in the past, especially the period 1997-2003, my fav school years. Sometimes I fear being trapped in those times. In particular, when I first came back for good, I wasn't feeling very good. It was like someone dear died, like I lost something. I was feeling very unhappy and uncontented with my life which was beginning to fall into some boring routine of looking forward to the weekends with each repeating weekday. I decided I had to do something, so I joined a gym and subsequently I took up salsa.
Now, I think things are falling into some sort of routine again but I guess it wouldn't be right to say it's boring. I realise the importance of finding an interest I can sustain, despite burning multiple holes in my pocket for all the dance and gym packages. At least it beats burning plastic in the malls :)