Fast forward to March of this year. I was looking for a kettlebell class and came upon CrossFit Valley Park's website. They were going rowing and anyone interested was to contact Dan which I did because I wanted to make sure that newbies were welcome.
Our outing had been canceled once because of stormy weather and was almost in danger of being canceled today because the water was high which gave me enough time to wonder what I had gotten myself into.
I arrived and I'm out there with some pretty elite-looking athletes. I silently tell myself that I can hold my own. We got on the indoor machines and the instructor said "You all know what erging is..." I didn't say a word. I had no clue what it means to erg. Anyone?
We practice a few moves -- arms only. Arms and back. Arms with slight knees. All out rowing. Then, we practice rowing in synch. Next, we move to the boat storage area where the instructor encourages us to come up to the front because, as he said, there are no backseats in the boat. He goes on to explain the difference between the oars. Next, we divide up into groups of men and women so that the teams will have some kind of balance. We line up shortest to tallest. I'm the second shortest at 5'3 and a half. I get assigned to Ron's boat. Eight of us go over and get an explanation of how we're going to carry the boat. We're going to lift it up to waist level first then on our shoulders and then we follow Ron's marching orders. By this time, we've already taken our oars out to the dock.
At the boat ramp, we take off our shoes. We are told that everyone should put their left foot on the white line next to their seat. I'm number three which I will hear called a lot as we are getting instruction on the water.
The water is so high in the lake that when we get to the bridge, we have to lay all the way flat or risk decapitation. I am more than tense at this time because I'm also supposed to keep my oar in a certain position while we're laid out.
I seldom get something right on the first try that requires coordination and I, at times, felt like I was screwing up my teammates' chances since we had a race at the end with two other boats. Overall, though, I'm glad that I took Introduction to Rowing and I love that it is a team sport. Even when you're not rowing, you have a responsibility to keep your hand on the oar and contribute to keeping the boat set.
Things I learned while rowing:It was so beautiful at the lake that I wish that I had thought to take my bike but I was in desperate need of sustenance by then since the class went from Noon to 3:30 p.m. and the intensity of the sun only added to my hunger.
The Coxswain is the boss. There is no backseat. Relax (recurring theme that I hear across disciplines). If you're not working together, it's not going to be any fun.
Have you tried something new recently or done something outside of your comfort zone?