Auckland woman Glenda Tan, 68, hasn't let breast cancer hold her back from ticking things off her bucket list.
Now she's shared how joining an all-female dragon boating team helped her bounce back from life-changing surgery and inspired her to encourage other women to achieve their goals.
"After my surgery a couple of years ago, I had scar tissue that affected my right arm and made it shorter than the other, it was really difficult to do anything with it," she shares.
"A friend called me up about this dragon boating team, she said it's made up of survivors like you and I thought I'd give it a go. At first I didn't even know how I was going to get in and out of the boat!" she admits.
The Pink Dragons are an Auckland-based competitive team entirely made up of breast cancer survivors, and Tan says joining them was "inspiring".
There are 22 women on the boat of all ages and stages of life. And the shared experience of battling breast cancer has formed them into a sisterhood, Tan says. "There's no room for divas on the boat!"
Joining the team made her realise what she was capable of, even after facing a life-changing diagnosis. And her message to women is that they too are capable of anything.
"You don't have to have everything, but you can be anything. There's treasures locked in so many people, they just need to look inside themselves," she says.
"Instead of trying to tick things off a bucket list, pay attention to what's already in your bucket. The wonders of the world will always be there. Let's focus on what we already have within us."
After a week on the boat, there was no more tightness in her arm, Tan shares. "I kept pushing myself and it's been a life-changing journey."
Now at 68, she's preparing for regional competitions during her second season on the boat.
"Last season I was a newbie, I didn't know what I was doing. But now once I'm on the boat I don't think of anything else."
"Never in a million years did I believe I could be competitive," she says with a laugh. "I never got involved in team sports growing up."
"I don't mind trying things out of my comfort zone. Once you take one step, the next one is easier."