Day 5: fun on the water


'Buster'

‘Buster’

Today is what we used to call ‘freeforall Friday’. It doesn’t mean binge day, it means we can have a few treats, for behaving all week. The thing is, if you deny yourself something, you just want it more.
So this was our way of dealing with that.

Nutrition:

Breakfast: scrambled egg
Lunch: flatbread, humus and cheese. (Snack- ‘yo yo’ biscuit and mango smoothie)
Dinner: Slow cook steak casserole. Glass of red wine

Exercise: 1 hour row in a single sculls boat on the river.

Today is my day off, I decided to start the day with a solo row. I have the keys  and an alarm code for the club house so I can go down any time, which is really nice. It means that I can now go and row in the afternoon after work, when it’s nice and quiet or any time on a Friday. Singles rowing is a huge benefit, it sorts out your technique, as you have no one to hide behind, other than yourself. A lot of masters will not row in a single. The boat is a lot less stable, and depends on your core strength combined with good technique.

I distinctly remember wobbling off down the river with trepidation, determined to master it so I could race in a novice singles category before the end of my novice year. (I got Gold!) now I’m in with the regulars, but still consider myself a novice largely, so much practice needed!

I decided to head upstream where it’s quiet, just bush and mai mai’s, rather than picnics, cars by the shore and speedboat clubs, which you have down stream.

I am now much better at straight lines, which is useful when you have a bridge to negotiate, and is actually a lot harder than I ever expected. The person in the stroke seat of a multiple crew boat steers with their foot, attached to a rudder. With a single, it’s all done by stroke adjustments. I have also learned that if I turn to check my course using my neck rather than my shoulders, it helps stabilisation. So I worked on stroke lengthening today, and felt really good. The sun was beating down, the water was millpond still, and there was nothing but me, buster and the ducks.

I wanted to take the GoPro but couldn’t find the heard mount. So I decided to put it in the waterproof case and stuff it down my pants! What if I fall out, you might wonder? Well I won’t. I never have to date, which apparently is quite rare. So much so that some of the masters have tried to tip me out already! Nasty people!

I did however have to wait till I was at the turn around before I could take a photo, while holding both oars steady with the other hand and trying to ensure I don’t drop the camera! Bearing in mind that a GoPro doesn’t have a monitor, all the photos were precariously placed, and blind. So they came out quite well!

The mai mai in the photo is the same one that you can see from the river bank during my walk the other day. I love it on the river, so beautiful and peaceful. Every trip is a potential photo journey.

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