Bleed Green. Irvine Strong.
The Passion and the Strength.
When you’re out on the water to give your best fight, remember what it means to be a UC Irvine dragon boat paddler. Remember the sweat that you’ve given, and the strides that you and the team have taken, to come to this present moment to represent UCI DB.
This is one of my favorite quotes from UCLA’s basketball coach, the legendary John Wooden.
“There is no substitute for hard work. If you’re looking for the easy way, if you’re looking for the trick, you might get by for a while, but you will not be developing the talents that lie within you. There is simply no substitute for work.” –John Wooden
I have witnessed tremendous growth from UCI since my time with the team. Races are won through hard work and dedication. While placement is nice it isn’t the deciding factor for whether or not you had a good race. Some of the best memories come (from) the good, the bad, and the ugly. “Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion” just like Muhammad Ali.
Strive to be the Greatest YOU of All Time.
Fear of failure paralyzes the average. Battle the emotion and become elite.
Validation of hard work is realized after crossing the finish line.
Races are won and lost at practice and in the gym. The actual race is the easy part because all you have to do is try your hardest on the day of the race. Think of it as one very long race that starts the first day of practice and ends when you cross the finish line. The actual 500 m is just a small section of your race in comparison to all the strokes you take and weights you lift just to get to that final 500 m. As long as you stay with the team, you will get there regardless, but how you get there depends on you.
Whether you paddled years in high school or move on to adult dragonboat teams, outrigger teams, or sprint canoe racing, NOTHING will ever be quite like the college dragonboat experience. Don’t take it for granted! The good and the bad; the struggles and triumph. College dragonboating is an amazing life experience. Cherish it.
Let me reiterate what I said in my senior speech: No matter how bad things may seem, don’t ever give up. Never believe anything is impossible. It’s not until you – or someone else – achieves it, will you know it’s possible. With that being said, always work hard. Give it your all. Break all mental barriers. Work towards your impossible goal and make it possible – not only for yourself but for every one else on this team and all of those who will be a part of this amazing team. Be strong together.