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Mar 11, 2009

Paddler Spotlight - Janet and Caesar!

Janet: Monterey Park, CA
Caesar: Waialua, Hawaii

Janet: 5/25
Caesar: 8/30

Favorite Food(s)?
Janet: Too many to list..but some BIG favs: rib-eye steak, korean bbq, sushi (salmon and hamachi!), indian, italian, tapas, potatoes, wine, beer, mojitos, martinis
Caesar: Spam Musubi, Won ton mein, aku and tako poki, pancit, chile verde, fish tortas, chicken adobo, chicken long rice, braised short ribs, chicken curry, shoyu chicken, jook, carnitas, horchata, chicken apritada and small chicken bowl accompanied with sesame wings from Yoshinoya!!

How long have you been paddling for?
Janet: technically since Oct 2005, but I was out of the country for most of 2008, so this is my 3rd year...
Caesar: My first tournament was the 2005 Long Beach Tournament. I will be participating in my 5th season.

Why do you paddle?
Janet: Because I need the cardio workout - and the SD family is just so amazing that I paddle just to see them!
Caesar: Bad legs made me leave my beloved Poi Pounder softball team. I find the physical intensity of paddling very appealing. I love the fact that the sport combines strength, endurance, stamina and grace. When I better myself physically, it is for me as well as for a collective effort. I think I’m addicted to the muscle aches associated with paddling.

Are you a better Paddler when you are Happy or Angry?
Janet: Angry Competitive.
Caesar: Happy. My personality is fueled by fun and laughter.

Favorite or notable Space Dragon moment(s)?
  • Tempe 2006 - When attempting to get Em/Peggy down from dancing on a table..I got pulled up onto it...and started to dance w/ them, there's a photo somewhere of us dancing on a table
  • Las Vegas Race in 2006 - Me, Emily and Mike arrived in Vegas around 10pm to a laughing/screaming/drunkenly hilarious Pearl/Peggy/Wade. But then we spent the whole night taking care of them...hence...drink responsibility!! And then sharing a queen bed w/ Pearl AND Wade
  • When Wade visited me in London - and after my flat crawl (we had 8 flats in the same building...and went to drink/party in each), we drunk dialed people on the team - it was 4pm PST when we did =|
  • When Jackie, Tran, Galen and Charlie came to visit me in London and then our awesome trip to Paris together. Fun times and great food!!

Caesar: Many favorites. (May need small font for all these).

  • Showing up to my first practice feeling out of place and thought to myself that this team needs the “Poi Pounder” touch. Then during and after the hard practice, I thought to myself, “WTF did I get myself into!!”
  • San Francisco Bay Sink and Swim. I found out that Deadra really really loves me. She was crying when we returned to the docks. REAL TEARS!! But then I got a scolding from her and got punched in the stomach from Janice after I told them I went after Robert’s butt pad while I was under water. I was touched to know that my benchmate Galen cried while looking for me too. I surfaced inside the over turned boat.
  • 20 miles from Phoenix in a minivan with gear on top. Tammy, Skyy and Deadra said they heard noises coming from the top of the van. Brian tired of their whining says he hears nothing and turns up the radio real loud to drown out the chorus of nagging. Seconds later, the straps on top flew off, we all screamed and our gear was on the side of the 10 highway. As Tammy and Skyy goes to retrieve the stuff, truckers and were blowing their horns at them.
  • Never thought Wade could get mad, until I heard him say “F*ck!!” in anger during a practice. I was shocked, but that was cool!!
  • Yilin, dressed in bikini top and shorts, was cheering rather loud and interestingly and was waving her jersey at SD boats paddling out to race. Joe sternly said, “Keep focus inside the boat!!” After the race, the men was mad at Joe because the men’s boat was so focused, all 20 male paddlers missed the Space Dragon girls flashing their boobs at them from shore…except for Brian.
  • Tammy bit Skyscraper’s lip and drew blood after Tammy tried to get the cherry from Skyy’s mouth at team dinner at Gordon Biersch in San Francisco .
  • Dragon boat racing an aphrodisiac?? After Arlene competed in her very first race, it made her want to vomit. Minutes later, she later disclosed that it got her sexually aroused. Go figure!!
  • We just came to cheer?? Rod and I just got done with a master’s race in LB. We then stuffed ourselves with sushi and other goodies from the food table and decided to go cheer on the young men. The men’s boat needed a first place finish to win a medal, but was short a couple of paddlers. At the marshalling area, we were shocked when Joe and Wade thrust us into action A.S.A.P. We had full bellies, we used Joe and Wade’s paddles and vests and I had a really really full bladder. We helped the men’s boat get their medals…and I finally got to pee!!

How do you prepare yourself for a Race?
Janet: I try to calm down from being overly anxious and nervous - so I usually look like I'm about to fall asleep in between races =P
Caesar: try to paddle to failure every practice. During the days to come, I get rid of the weights and work the fast twitch muscles. I also try to get some cardio in. Race day, I would do mental drills and look for landmarks to know when/how to expend energy during the race. Then I go to my hotel room, dress Deej in a muumuu and abstain. Because, “JOE SAID NO!!”

Any hobbies, activities, interests outside of paddling?
Janet: Traveling (lots!), food, outdoor activities (hiking, backpacking, beach vball, softball), planning trips and events, trying new things
Caesar: I love kayaking, softball, playing pranks on people, hanging out with Deej & friends and doing anything for a laugh.

Any advice for new Paddlers?
Janet: It really hurts when you first start (and still hurts). But things get easier...and then it's like riding a bike. It'll come by naturally and you will never forget it! After being gone for a year - I was surprised at how quickly (I think) I picked it up again.
Caesar: First, learn to survive the practices… so you can learn to survive the races. Then, master yourself during the practices….. so you can master yourself during the races.
Be a student of the sport. Always give an honest 120%. Critique from coaches on your technique is never personal (no matter how many times) and more important, make dragon boating fun anyway and anyhow you can.

Paddling-wise, any particular goals for yourself or the team?
Janet: To grow competitively but still maintain our team's laid-back and happy-go-lucky friendly attitude. I think this is what sets us apart from all the other teams out there.
Caesar: Team wise: I’d like the Space Dragons to be known in the Dragon Boat community as a top level team that works, competes and parties hard!!

Self: Try to have a “Bruce Lee” body like John Lai’s or a muscular build like Joe. Or to have freakish strength like Rod or to have incredible paddle power to weight ratio like Wade. Oh, and have delts like Emily. Any combination of the aforementioned paddlers would be nice.

If you could change one thing about the Team, what would it be?
Janet: Not so far practice location and later practices - I like to sleep in! And everyone can travel more together!
Caesar: The best change has already happened. When we got rid of the white Space Dragons uniforms and replaced them with the sacred Royal Blue ones. The white uniforms did not compliment people with spare tires, muffin tops and bra fat very well….especially my spare tire!!

Favorite part about being a Space Dragon?
Janet: The people - I missed everyone terribly when I was gone for a year. I've never met a group of people that have so much in common - love of the outdoors and exercising, off-the-water activities, fun, friendly, comfortable. It's like my 2nd family!
Caesar: It has grown to be a close knit team. We always give hugs when we part and we rarely have drama. At least that I know of. The word “LOVE” is everywhere. We are just ….Shiny Happy People.

You have a single brother or sister. What Space Dragon would you consider hooking them up with?
Janet: I have both, but they're not at the point where they need to be set up! Lil Lui is already on the team - he can find a girl himself! As for my sister - she can handle her own =)
Caesar: Question is, would any Space Dragon want me as their father-in-law???

Most interesting character you've met through the team?
Janet: Mayana - She LOOKS so quiet and the things she says and does sometimes just makes me laugh uncontrollably because it's so unexpected
Caesar: I think this heading should say “CHARACTERS”. Everybody adds a certain flavor to the team. I believe nearly half the team should be committed to a mental institution. Here is the top ones.

  • Craziest: Galen. Loquacious, can act flaming, is hi-energy, paddles with a third person. i.e. “Paddle Harder Galen!!” However, it trips me out that he seems so morose over the intercom during the officers meetings.
  • Intriguing: Wade. Charming, good looks and with a mega-watt smile. Gets his point across and is a great leader. Wade wants the team to be competitive but not at the expense of having fun. All the girls want him and all the guys want to be like him. Besides, he reminds me of that guy from the movie Kung Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow.
  • Joe: Has taught me that it is okay to be a big, hard-ass, muscular kind of guy and be modest & sensitive at the same time.
  • Poi Pounder Girls +1: Deej, Arlene, Tammy, Skyy and Brian. Their personalities ooze sexuality and fun. Their personalities are infectious more often than not. The tramps!!

Any interesting facts about yourself - or secrets that you want to divulge?
Janet: I can paddle for miles nonstop..but I can't even run a mile w/o stopping. No joke - ask Pearl/Emily - they thought I was being modest for the Mud Run.
Caesar: Okay, okay. I think I like coaching newbies!! I’ve learned to love seeing newbies paddle like crap at first and then see them look half way decent by the end of the day. Then they think, just because paddling with Coach Ceez was fun it’ll always be that way. They pay their fees and end up in a boat with coach meanies like Joe, John, Emily and Wade. It’s like leading cows to the slaughter house!! LOL!!

Who got you into Space dragons/Dragonboating?
Janet: Emily. And how I met her is a bit complex - but I'm glad I did!! AJ and I actually missed our first SD practice and paddled with LARD...but we went still went back to SD for the 2nd and 3rd and well..we're still here. PS - Contrary to popular belief, AJ and I were not an item back then!
Caesar: Susie Rodriguez. I joined the team just so she would stop harassing me and it was the only way to get her to “Sharrup!!” LOL!! I’m glad she introduced me to the sport.

Is Galen a hottie?
Janet: Serious????! Galen's a really great guy =P
Caesar: Galen can be my cellmate anytime!!