If I had spent a quarter of the energy I did on avoiding sport on actually doing some, I might’ve been fairly adequate at one. I didn’t, and having now found a sport I love, I only wish I’d found it 20 years ago.
I am a sloth. It’s not even my spirit animal. I am a sloth.
I was a pretty happy, if out of shape sloth, but generally a contented sloth.
Then something happened.
A seismic shift.
The stars aligned.
Mercury went retrograde.
The poles shifted.
Trump became POTUS.
I sure don’t.
I woke up in January and decided that I needed to learn how Salsa.
I woke up in March and decided it was time to learn to row.
Perhaps aliens have taken over my body?
I am slightly discomforted by this notion, but extremely aware that I’m acting out of the character I have nurtured for most of my adult life.
I’m also not sure that this is a bad thing.
Look, I’m never going to be gazelle, but I may move up the energy scale from sloth, to koala, past panda and maybe hit duck, swan if I manage to transition from ugly duckling.
It feels pretty good actually. Except for the obvious aching sore muscles loudly protesting the physical abuse.
My humpbacked posture and non-existent core (largely due to three pregnancies and a back op) have improved drastically over the last 3 weeks. I’m no longer hunching over my desk like some spectre from Notre Dame.
I have more energy and less anxiety and depression. I would say I’ve lost weight, but honestly, I can’t be arsed to find a scale and find out.
My rowing coach, Dylan, is a source of constant and hilarious inspiration.
My crew mates, Andrea, Mo and Tyrone keep me in stitches, keep me motivated and keep me from rushing the slide.
I am, however, bemused by the idea that according to context we have to use synonyms for basic words that have stood in good stead since birth like ‘easy’ for ‘stop’. ‘Stop’ seems to me to be a perfectly adequate word for the action you wish me to take. I don’t understand why we can’t just say ‘Stop’.
It’s not left and right or port and starboard. It’s bow and stroke.
The two rowers at the back of the boat (3 and 4) are the stroke pair.
The two rowers at the front of the boat (1 and 2) are the bow pair.
Yes, this is confusing, because this placement has nothing to with left and right, but back and front.
Also, you face the back, not the front. So, when you go up the slide, you’re actually going backwards on the boat, but forwards in relation to your feet.
And, most importantly it’s not an oar, and definitely not a paddle. It’s a blade.
And never never ever call the boat a canoe.
The last learning I have from this weekend’s training is that manicured long nails and rowing are mutually exclusive.
After gouging out holes on the back of my right hand with my (not even very long) nails on my left hand) I sat in the boat, desperately gnawing at my nails to avoid any more bloodshed. Note to self: Bring band aids in the boat.
And now, sadly, there is no rowing for a bit as the experienced guys head off to regattas, us parents head off to Easter Egg hunts and so forth. I feel a little devastated, I may actually have to go to a gym (the horror) to use a rowing machine in a poor approximation.