Sep. 26th, 2012

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Betty Gibson is a part of the new class of 2012 MSF Ambassadors. She is a veteran of our MSF Cruise for a Cause and she engages in many activities to help the MS community. She recently took part in riding on a Dragon Boat and it sounded like such a cool experience that we asked if she could write a little bit about it.

Multiple Sclerosis Meets the Dragon!

Hi! I am Betty Gibson, and have had multiple sclerosis for over 30 years. My main problem is that, ‘no I can’t do that’ just doesn’t fit my vocabulary. When one of our neighbors in The Villages, Florida – our part-time home – invited me to ride on a Dragon Boat, of course I said yes. Did I know what I was going to do? No!

A Dragon Boat holds 20 paddlers who, with the steerer and cadence counter, work very hard to keep the narrow, canoe-like boat level and smooth in the water. At the same time, racing speed is the norm. The regular teams exercise strenuously and practice often. Push ups? They do that. Sit ups? Easy…for them! Needless to say, this was not something for me. However, I did it! (No, not the exercises!)

The team I joined for a morning workout just returned from competition in Hong Kong. Yes, they are that good. I did paddle, most of the time. However, the racing power-starts unseated me. Hold on, or you will be sitting on the lap of the person behind you!

Would I do it again? Of course! Multiple sclerosis may be a part of my body, but it is not and will not be a ruling factor in my mind. Go, Dragon Boat!


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