I came back to Qatar in April last year. Being fresh from the wild and free PH, I had a hard time coping up as all the bad habits were readily available back home. The adjustments were adding more to the depression that was already pressing hard when I was looking for a job. I was in such bad shape that time that I slept mostly during the day and stayed awake at night with negative thoughts about life in general. Until after working my way to find a job, my life had a sense of purpose, which until now I’m figuring out what exactly but to know that there is comforts me. And luckily enough, a blessing came almost at the same time. I’d call it a sport in that point of time but now, no less than a family.

Just recently, we joined the Qatar Dragon Boat Festival. Being involved in the Dragon Boat world for less than a year, joining is enough reason for me to rejoice in such an achievement as a team. We had mock races before, which I took seriously by the way. And I think there’s nothing wrong with that especially when you’re passionate about something. We travelled as a team all the way to RAK, UAE in November last year which contributed a lot in building our foundation more than just teammates but as a family. Building trust, enjoying times over alcohol, being together while being all jumpy before the real deal, all these things we did together.

mp for jg 3

I get all too emotional when I talk about Masterpiece. For the past 8 months, my life basically revolved around them. We train mostly 5 times per week. I start my day with them as early as 3 am. Who wouldn’t be attached, right? And as a person, I’m really the type to cling to people I get familiar with. They used to be the reason to be excited about Fridays until they became part of my everyday life that not thinking about them just isn’t on my list. LOL.

So why? What’s the big fuss about them?

I’ve never been involved in a sport as much as now. We’re made up of different individuals with different personalities but obviously there is one that links us to one another. All teams are made up of these blend. And I’m more than blessed to be in the right one.

I have bad imaginations of how my life would’ve been if I didn’t become part of Masterpiece. There are overflowing emotions and reasons why I love my family. I don’t know if you’ll be able to understand how it works for me, maybe not unless you Β become part of it.

mp for jg 4

It’s been a week since we won but I’m still as proud as I was when I saw that dragon head pass the buoy that gave us the title, Champion for the Open Category. Training is the most important ingredient to any competition. I love dragon boat because there is no MVP or star player. You can gauge your strength on your own by doing your routine or work out, keep a record of how fast you’re becoming – but none of this will be important if you can’t adjust for your teammates, if you can’t follow their pace, if you think you’re stronger and continue to do your own thing. You’ll end up hitting someone else’s paddle or being a burden to the boat. But with a great coach, being a burden will never be true because he will focus on you and bring out the best in you until you become sync with your other teammates. I always thought I was a burden especially when I was just starting but we were always reminded to believe in ourselves.

mp for jg 2

I can never thank these people enough for what they’ve done to help me get through my every day struggles, my insecurities. Dragon boat isn’t just a sport for me. I know I’ve said it but I’ll say it over and over again.

At first, I hated how my body turned out because of the hard-core trainings. My arms are so muscular that it’s become a thing to tease me. My already brown skin’s more toasted now. But I’m starting to love myself more and I couldn’t care less if how I look isn’t pleasing to some other people’s eyes. This muscular body will be the reason that I’ll be able to handle all the trainings coach has in store for us, this big arms will be the reason I’ll be able to join competitions.

What’s a better way to celebrate victory than to celebrate it with the right people? What’s a better way to live life than to do what feels right? I’ve never been this proud of myself in my life. I have found a sport my family and I enjoy doing together. I have found people to call my family. And for that, I’ll always be thankful. The setbacks and struggles that go along with it are more than welcome as long as we’ll work our way out of it together.

I’m proud to say:

I am a masterpiece. I am a Masterpiece.

To join, #beorange:

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