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Showing posts from July, 2003

My dinner was quite alive…and tasted quite fresh

Ogoto | Japan Kamaete! We all lean forward and place our paddles parallel to the seat.
Yoi! Twenty paddles are lifted simultaneously to a vertical position.
Attention! Each of us leans forward so that the tip of our blade skims the surface. Shoulders tighten. My thighs flex expectantly as I repeatedly work to wedge my toes into a better position.
Go! Suddenly I'm pulling my paddle so hard through the water it lifts me off my seat. The Taiko drum is slammed with short heavy wooden sticks to a deep triple beat. In unison, twenty backs swing forward. We plunge our paddles forward into the water again and pull back to the boom of the Taiko.
At first the excitement of the start keeps us pumped. The lake water splashes into my face and I'm completely focused on matching the sound of the Taiko to my stroke, and the stroke of the guy on my right.
I feel like I could go on forever. I look forward and see...400 meters more to go. Oh maybe not. I'm already exhausted. Just as I start…