(l-r) Marvin Estes, Randy Davis, Jessica Wheatley, and Samantha Staub head out to practice.

A few members of the Catholic Charities Dragon Boat Team took the time to share their tips, techniques and rituals to ensure top performance at practices and on race day.

How do you prepare mentally for the grueling practices?

  • Shopping – Practice day falls on my flex day, trying on clothes helps me stretch out the muscles needed for practice. Desiree Ford, Fiscal Services
  • Just go and have fun…no real mental prep needed. Everyone is so nice and supportive, it’s one for all and all for one. Carol Palmer, Community Services
  • I seek inspiration from episodes of the A-Team. Sean Lee, Center for Family Services
  • Oh, it’s best NOT to prepare.  That way you’re not shocked when things go horribly wrong.  Ah…capsizing incident. Rey Smith, Human Resources

What do you eat to maintain your strength and energy?

  • Lots of chips and salsa from Austin Grill. Becky Kidd, Center for Family Services
  • Cinnabon cinnamon roll, Auntie Anne’s pretzels, Ms. Fields cookies whichever is in the eatery of the mall I am in. Desiree Ford, Fiscal Services
  • Pop Rocks and Coke. Penelope Power, Villa Maria BCARS
  • Peanut butter on a piece of toast. Carol Palmer, Community Services
  • Folks typically recommend complex carbs and protein, but I personally believe Twinkies are the hostess with the mostess. Sean Lee, Center for Family Services
  • I eat a couple bags of those little Ritz Bits with peanut butter.  It doesn’t do much for strength or energy, but they’re darn good so I’m a happy camper during practice. Rey Smith, Human Resources

What does your land work out consist of to help get you in top shape for race day?

  • We have to do land workouts??????!! Becky Kidd, Center for Family Services
  • Speed walking to stores with sales. Desiree Ford, Fiscal Services
  • Huh? Penelope Power, Villa Maria BCARS
  • Chuck Norris with his Total Gym has transformed my life… he won’t let me down. Sean Lee, Center for Family Services


Captains Chris Kelly and Rey Smith

What qualities do you possess that make you an asset to the team?

  • My ability to swallow bay water and not grow extra limbs or mutate into a teenage mutant ninja turtle. Becky Kidd, Center for Family Services
  • Buoyancy. Desiree Ford, Fiscal Services
  • Upbeat attitude and always laughing…remembering to make it fun and challenging. Carol Palmer, Community Services
  • Well, not everyone has seen the Wonder Pets in action, but if you have then you know the qualities I possess. Sean Lee, Center for Family Services
  • A steady temperament and a blind eye, so I don’t notice all the craziness going on around me. Rey Smith, Human Resources

 How do you relax after practice?

  • Drink lots of Margaritas at Austin Grill.  Becky Kidd, Center for Family Services
  • Eating again. Desiree Ford, Fiscal Services
  • Sleep!  Carol Palmer, Community Services
  • I’d love to say a nice stiff drink, but what puts me most at easy is strong soap and a hot shower. Rey Smith, Human Resources

How do you rid your boat shoes of the Harbor stench?

  • Dunking them into a vat of acid usually does the trick. Becky Kidd, Center for Family Services
  • Slathered them with Chanel No. 5. Penelope Power, Villa Maria BCARS
  • Three washings in a row. Carol Palmer, Community Services
  • What stench? Sean Lee, Center for Family Services
  • I use a combination of soap, bleach, salt, sugar and a touch of cinnamon.  The shoes look a mess but they smell like fresh baked cookies! Rey Smith, Human Resources

One word to describe the boat swamping experience . . .

  • Wet. Becky Kidd, Center for Family Services
  • Hysterical.  Carol Palmer, Community Services
  • Exhilarating.  Desiree Ford, Fiscal Services
  • Titanic. Sean Lee, Center for Family Services
  • Humbling!!  I could see it coming and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it!! Rey Smith, Human Resources