On a sunny day with temperatures in the high 40s, 23 members of New York Outrigger drove South down the New Jersey Turnpike and to Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Located there is Paddle Pool USA, the first indoor paddle pool in the country. While primarily used by dragonboat teams, NYO decided to shake things up and train there as well.
Many of our paddlers have been training on land through the winter but few have been on the water since last October so it was a good opportunity to get those paddling muscles warmed up for the season – a “spring training” of sorts. Our coach/facilitator, Aimee R, is one of the coaches with Schuylkill Dragons, a dragonboat team based in Philadelphia.
After stretches and a light warm up, we got into our seats. Carol and Keith did their first abbreviated stroke clinic of the season followed by a variety of drills created by Aimee. Following the drills were some great workout pieces to get the blood flowing with breaks only to turn around to paddle on the other side. We are outrigger paddlers after all.
The core of our two hour session involved a game with the now infamous rubber duck. Our competitive juices started flowing when Aimee broke up the group into four teams of 6. Each team would paddle as hard as they could to get the rubber duck one revolution around the pool. The team with the fewest strokes wins. Definitely made sprint pieces fun and with the added competitive twist. Even so, the entire room cheered each other on, a camaraderie that Aimee was quick to point out as one of our many strengths.
Energized and starved, we left Bryn Mawr and headed into Philly to join in on the debate of dueling cheesesteak eateries, Pats and Genos. A long line at both allowed us to catch up on our off-season happenings. With cheesesteaks in hand, we determined we had to come back to make a final determination of a winner. Stuffed with carbs, all paddlers headed north on the New Jersey Turnpike…tired in a good way. Definitely a positive experience for all. We hope to continue this for next winter and make it part of our regular winter training.
A big thanks to Will for organizing this winter workout for NYO.