Welcome to Death Row



Guess what I got for Christmas?

No, not tail lights. That was last year.

Not a blender, or a kettle, or an oven. We’ve covered those.

I got a rowing machine!

When my son’s Rowfit trainer asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I blithely replied that I had bought myself some killer shoes so I could be sure of getting something I really wanted. I didn’t take his little laugh and side-eye too seriously.

I should have.

On Christmas morning, Firstborn and I were led through the garden and into the cottage. I use the term ‘cottage’ loosely. It seems to have been intended as a cottage, but the previous owners got bored halfway through.

We were a little concerned.

What on earth was up there?

We were gobsmacked. I was overjoyed. And then terrified. Very very terrified.

Before I could start, I needed a name.

So, much to my son’s dismay, I conducted a little internet poll on naming options.

Yes, I name things. My car is Bella, because like my Great Granny, she keeps on going. The red car is Funny, because she’s like a little clown car.

What to call the ergometer.

Yes, rowing machines are for gyms, ergometers are for rowers. Apparently, it’s as uncool to call an ergo a rowing machine as it’s to call scuba fins, flippers or (my favourite) frogfeet.

The results are in:

  • The garden cottage is now officially called, Death Row. (I’m getting a sign made!).
  • The erg is a little harder. Top contenders were: Pennywise, WTF and The Destroyer of Dreams (DOD).

My husband wanted a name that sounded really sweet like a My Little Pony character with a hidden dark psychopathic side.

The first week of exercise went really well, until the doctor said that I had managed to spread the infection from my ill conceived ear piercing around my entire body resulting in a finger the size of a pork sausage from a tiny little cut. Since then. It’s been hard to get back in the saddle.

Also, my husband gets a Google Update from Concept 2 everyday with a new exercise routine. He WhatsApps it to me, SMSes it to me and Facebook Messengers it to me. This irks me. And when I’m irked, I put down roots and am incapable of movement.

(I love that word – irks. It sums up that space between mildly annoyed but not yet really annoyed. I am irked. It is irksome.)

Actually, despite what I thought, I rather enjoy it. I get home, change into my “active wear’ and hit Death Row. Then I crank up my Harry Potter audio book and row for 30 minutes.

Then I lie on the floor and cry . It’s very cathartic. Eventually, a spawn will come and check on me, unplaster me from the floor and half guide, half carry me to the house. And then I feel very very virtuous.

Then, my son sees the computer output on the DOD and shudders with suppressed laughter at my agony.

Then I feel less virtuous and more pathetic, until I remind myself that I am a mother of three in her forties, not a super fit 16 year old with Olympic dreams. Then I feel okay.

Sometimes, I beat the DOD.

Sometimes, it kicks my ass.

Mainly, it kicks my ass.

And I’m irked that I don’t look anything like Demi Moore in GI Jane yet.

In the meantime, Firstborn propels the DOD across the floor with every stroke. O think we may have to concrete it in there.


2 thoughts on “Welcome to Death Row

  1. January 25, 2018
    5000m with rate changes every 1000m: 28-24-20-24-28

    Row for a total of 5000 meters at a sustainable intensity, varying your stroke rate as follows: row 1000 meters @ 28 spm, 1000 meters @ 24 spm, 1000 meters @ 20 spm, 1000 meters @ 24 spm, and 1000 meters @ 28 spm.

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