The Rowing Chronicles 01: Row, Row, Row my Boat

Pro Tip

The conversation continued…

My mother: “Shouldn’t you start with something a little less strenuous?”

Me: “You were the one who brought me up with the maxim: go big or go home.”

My mother: “Fair enough.”

Why am I squeezing my 40-year-old bottom in a teeny tiny rowing scull?

Damn good question.

  1. Clearly, my gravity and my body are not friends.
  2. I can’t afford plastic surgery to suck, nip, tuck and plump.
  3. Therefore, I have to do something myself.
  4. Also, The Husband promised that if I did a year of exercise he would fork out for a boob lift.

This is the year of bursting out of my slothlike routine and doing something.

First off I started salsa. Exercise I can do with a glass of wine and in high heels. Amazing.

Now, due in no small part of peer pressure (yes, even at 40 this is a thing) I decided to join the some other rowing moms and dads and actually learn to row instead of just giving my son pointers on how to row better from Google.

So, bright and early on a cold Sunday morning, I set off to Victoria Lake Rowing Club for my introduction to rowing lesson.

How hard could it be, my son looks like poetry out there?


Despite my mother’s warning I did fit my size 12 bottom in the boat.

I thought to myself, “I’ve got this down.”

Remember back in the day when you learned to drive and you thought you’d never get the hang of doing everything at once?

Rowing is like that.

Each part on its own looks as easy as pie, but when you put it altogether becomes a bit more complicated.

Also you can’t just stop and get off, because you’re in the middle of LAKE! A LAKE! With a very good chance of getting very cold and wet.

“It’s easy,” says the coach.

“Arms, body, legs. Legs, body, arms.”

It’s amusing how all coordination flew from me at this point.

“Right,” he says, “Lean back at 45 degrees and relax.”

Leaning back at 45 degrees is not relaxing.

Also, I realised at this point that I do not have hamstrings. I have hams, but no strings. None.

Leaning back at 45 degrees with my legs straight in front of me with the shore disappearing from view, I began to panic.

Then we rowed.

“Bow side only”” yelled the coach as we drifted toward the reeds where a flock of perturbed herons stood and watched us slowly crash into their nests.

“Um, excuse me?” we answered, “Is that left or right?”

I swear the coach rolled his eyes.

Also, getting four people to row at the same time at the same speed is nothing short of a miracle. We must have looked like caterpillar having an epileptic fit.

According to my son who was watching with his crew from the shore, this was about when they decided they couldn’t look anymore.

I can’t say I blame them. Poetry we were not.

Nevertheless, we made it back to the shore, utterly utterly hooked.

So, despite my body aching in places I didn’t know I had places I have signed up for an 18-week course and committed myself to rowing at Rock at the Boat in 2018.

I think I will totally rock a tri-suit!

2 thoughts on “The Rowing Chronicles 01: Row, Row, Row my Boat

  1. This post was bloody brilliant! Best line was “we must’ve looked like a catepillar having an epileptic fit.” I have always been curious about rowing esp after my brother had such an amazing transformation after doing in freshman year of high school. Tell me how it goes long term. I need some help getting in shape but not good with traditional exercise classes.

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