Here be dragons

    The Schuylkill River will be teeming with dragons tomorrow. Paddlers from around the country are coming to Philadelphia for the Independence Dragon Boat regatta, where a Philadelphia team will defend its long-standing champion title.

    The Schuylkill River will be teeming with dragons tomorrow. Paddlers from around the country are coming to Philadelphia for the Independence Dragon Boat regatta, where a Philadelphia team will defend its long-standing champion title.

    It takes a lot of energy to pull a dragon boat through the water. It’s like a very long canoe with a dragon head on one end and 20 people packed inside. The key is for everyone to stay in sync.

    090606dragons2Dragon boating attracts women recovering from breast cancer because the paddling motion helps loosen the arm, shoulder, and chest, which can be damaged during surgery. Also, former cancer patient Sharon Ezersky says the importance of synchronicity creates a floating emotional support group.

    Ezersky: Times when you feel you’ve had enough, but you don’t stop because you’re a link in the chain and the chain has to keep going. There’s something very unifying about being a cog in the wheel.

    Unlike some regattas, the Philadelphia competition does not have a breast cancer division. So many former patients will be fighting for the gold in regular competition.

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