The Rowing Chronicles: Woes of a rowing mom

Zombie2 - 1

Being a rowing mom is no joke.

When your child expresses an interest in a sport at school, try and steer them in a direction of something quick, like squash, or tennis or no sport at all. Avoid cricket, gymnastics and rowing.

It’s Monday morning and I have been regaled with weekend reminisces from my colleagues – parties, movies, chilling out, braais, etc.

I have nothing to add. I sit here exhausted, sun burnt, dehydrated and counting the minutes before my Nurofen kicks in. No-one asks me about my weekend. They all know what I did. Rowing. I did rowing. Like every bloody weekend.

In fact, when I was rudely awakened this morning, I couldn’t fathom how it could be Monday already. Surely, there was supposed to be some downtime before I hit rush hour traffic and another 5 day hiatus before another regatta?

Five whole days punctuated with early morning training sessions, afternoon sessions, gym sessions, ergo sessions culminating in a regatta. Again.

At the start of the season, I am filled with enthusiasm. I get to see my fellow rowing parents, who are, quite literally, the sum total of my social life. I’ll get coffee from my beloved Lavazza ladies, be largely ignored my my rowing spawn and hopefully get a G&T later. At this point in the season, I just want a morning to sleep in until the sun rises.

On Saturday morning at 4:30am I looked with relief at the pouring rain and thought that there was no way the regatta would happen. I went back to sleep until a very angry teenager woke me up and demanded to be taken to the regatta – nothing stops a regatta.

I pulled on my wellies and rode off, sans coffee, to park in a muddy pit and trudge chair in hand towards the lake. Thank God for other rowing moms who understand. A cup of steaming coffee was pressed into my hands and conversation was halted until I could utter full sentences.

As I stood on the bank, my wellies coated in mud and duck poo, inhaling another cup of coffee I couldn’t come up with a single reason why I do this.

And then, down the course came the boats and my irritation and exhaustion was cast off in a single breath.

Coming in third, edging up to second and in the last microseconds putting in a burst of speed and crossing the line first was my spawn. My brilliant spawn.

It’s those moments, those minutes from start to finish that make the whole experience absolutely 100% worth the time, the tiredness and the early mornings.

I can’t imagine doing anything else on the weekend.


Thanks to Christopher Hart for his tutorial on zombie drawing!

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