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Nov 24, 2008

Paddler Spotlight - Natalie & Robert

Natalie: 11/12
Robert: 11/11.

Natalie: Carson, CA
Robert: I was born in Seattle, but been in SoCal since 6 mos old, grew up in Fullerton, reside in Placentia.

How long have you been paddling for?
Natalie: April '08
2 SHORT years! I have been lucky enough to paddle for 2 complete seasons
(Thank You, AJ, and by extension Janet =D )

Why do you paddle?
Natalie: First and foremost is because I love being on the water but then at my first tournament I discovered a team rush that I hadn't experienced before or at least in a very long time.
Robert: So many reasons to paddle, too few not to! Generally, I have a short attention span (I am a man after all) and as a sport it is constant action and concentration, it feeds my adrenaline habit and keeps my mind from wandering=D Specifically, burn fat, build core (I may get a six pack yet), being on the water, and oh yeah, the people! SD peeps rock! An amazing bunch of people.

Favorite or notable Space Dragon moment(s)?
Natalie: I was moved by the coaches (and team members) who acknowledged each and every member for their hard work. Everyone was valuing everyone's time and sportsmanship regardless if you were a newbie or veteran. It was overall human kindness & dedication that really stuck with me.
Favorite: Big LB 2008 Mixed Finals comeback after a mentally crushing defeat in the Master’s race. I don’t know why I felt so bad, but that Finals race brought me back.

Notable: Dom paddling alone in SFO Bay after our infamous capsize =p

Any dislikes or complaints about the sport?
Natalie: None, whatsoever.
: The sport as an activity, no. The sport as in organization, YES, the sport is far too small for the organizational infighting that exists, but hey, that’s people not the sport. Oh, and practices are too short now at only 1.5 hrs =)

Any hobbies, activities, interests outside of paddling?
Natalie: Scuba Diving, Interior Design, Wine tasting events and Hula dancing (at least back in the day)
Robert: NONE, I live for the paddle =) Well, OK, I do like Baking yummies, Fishing, Blading Swimming, Snorkeling, Water and Plant gardening, and since starting DB have picked up Kayaking, Snowboarding, Rock Climbing and Rock Band… Not enough hours in a day!:

How do you prepare yourself for a Race?
Natalie: I train for a certain time set that I want to achieve. For example, if I'm running and want to run a 5k in <30>
Robert: I just taper off workout intensity the week before, trying not to alter any eating or sleeping patterns (extra sleep can be as bad as too little)

Favorite form of Wobbly Pop?
Natalie: Huh?
Robert: Wobbly Pop: Beer (too many good brews to identify) Portland was AWESOME!
Wobbly Drink: Watermelon Martini (the ones I make =D)

Any advise for new Paddlers?
Natalie: Just show up and be ready for an exhilarating time

Robert: Stick with it! It’s a bit “hard” in the beginning as you learn form and body function and synchronization. Soon those technical issues will fall into place and you will be “challenging” yourself, which is where the real fun begins!

Are you a better Paddler when you are Happy or Angry?
Natalie: Happy! But fear of looking stupid is a motivation, too
I would have to say neither … and both. My mind and body have to be willing and able to paddle, and that synergy can be reached or broken in any mood.

Favorite part about being a Space Dragon?
Natalie: Being a part of amazingly talented & organized group of people.
Spending time with the team! Either on or off the water it is an adventure. I find endless inspiration from my SD brethren whether 13 or 50!

Name a fellow Space Dragon (or five) of either sex you would want to hook-up with a close-friend, family member...maybe yourself :) ?
Natalie: This is funny! Ummmm, hadn't really thought of this. Maybe Galen with .......(I have to think of single friends for him now). How old is that guy? I think he's hilarious and has a wonderful personality. Who else is single? I like playing matchmaker; apparently so do you.
Robert: I want them ALL for myself =)

Most interesting character you've met through the team?
Natalie: Tammy!
Wow! So many … and interesting for different reasons … how can I pick most interesting … For their ability to massively emote fun energy yet when it’s time paddle, all about concentration and inspiring all the while: Wade, Galen, Tran, Jackie.

If you could change one thing about the Team, what would it be?
Natalie: Everything is great to me.
It’s hard to say, in my 2 years the team has been constantly changing and growing, that’s good way to be =)

Any interesting facts about yourself - or secrets that you want to divulge?
Natalie: No secrets - my life is an open book. I'm in construction; I'm a hands on dirty girl. Other than walking on scaffolds or steel beams, I know every change to the project's scope and always try to minimize our risk. Boring I know, but I'm an interior designer at heart. I'm a landlord of a couple properties that I purchased myself and renovated mostly myself back to their historical make-up. Hard ass work but fun!
Robert: I love to make/bake treats (cookies, cheesecake, ice cream, …) No one believes it’s me that does it =p