What to rowers do in winter? Well row of course!

20140502-175525.jpgI have been wondering what the masters rowers do during off season, and it seems that they, well, row! There was talk of purchasing lights for the boats, what does it matter if it’s dark, so what if it’s a bit cold – wear gum boots!

Friday was the only day the last few weeks that I have been well enough to row, so I grabbed the opportunity for a daylight row, while I still had one day off left.

The scene was beautiful when I arrived at the club house. Light mist rolling on glassy still water, sun just rising: stunning. I wasn’t expecting to be thrust into a single though, or row way past any point I had ever reached in a single until now! The coach went out with me in another single: I was in a different boat to the only single I had tried. When I first set off, rowing with the tide, which was outward bound I struggled not to get distracted by the mirror like surface on the water and the stunning reflections all along the river banks. I want someone to invent a digital electronic contact lens camera that takes photos when you blink, because the scenery was simply amazing. My husband says I should just buy a Go Pro!

When I managed to regain focus I reminded myself what it was I was focussing on- straight wrists, loose grip, gripping with fingers only, off I went. No Mel, arms-legs-legs-arms you KNOW this! Wobble, FOCUS! THINK! Straight arms, use the shoulders and legs. Many conversations with myself later I got it together and set off downstream. I was managing (now I was shown how to follow the wake from the stern) to tell if I was going straight, and correct if not (to a point!). That was progress, I had been permanently going round right hand corners until now!

BUT rowing with fingers only is hard work and gives me blisters, or is it the fact I’m so tense I have a tight loose tight grip!? After I got way past the speed boat club to the look out (where the quad turns round!) I thought heck, it’s a long way back AGAINST the tide. So, round we go, yep, don’t crash into that sand bar, and we headed back upstream. The information from coach over in his boat suggested I was doing well, when I was focused! Sculls not too deep, arms straight, wrist not perfect but better. Nice one.

I rowed all the way back (which seemed to take for EEEEEVER) non stop, managing to self correct steering with the shoulders as I went. I saw that as a triumph because when I ws rowing in the single last, I would have to stop and adjust corse very very often, much to the frustration of those around me!

Much thinking, much hard work, many blisters (oops) and one beautifully peaceful ride later, we were back at the club house.

Pretty impressed with myself was I! All I need now is to master that balance, relaxation, correct grip whilst adding on power speed and higher stroke rate!


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