Recently I’ve started rowing and it’s become a bit of an obsession.
It’s had to be considering the training is four times a week, it’s a lot to commit to. The idea is to get us to be fit to race next year, which requires technical skills in the boat as well as having the physical fitness.
It requires discipline getting up every weekend morning at 7 am which means I try to get an early night even at the weekends. So I’ve been thinking what exactly do I really like about this? Firstly, when we are in the boat, rowing requires full concentration. You have to all row in time with each other and so you have to focus on the rhythm of the boat, and make sure that you’re doing everything well technically as well. This feels like a type of meditation for me – total focus on what I’m doing, no time for the mind to wander, and if it does, it’s likely to show quickly because I’ll end up making a mistake.
Our trainer is not the most patient type and has coached an advanced crew before us, so his frustration is quite visible. Yet we keep on showing up four times a week and keep trying to be perfect, better, faster.
There is also a feeling of satisfaction when it’s only 11.30 and you’ve already done 3 hours of training, it makes me feel like I’ve really taken advantage of my whole day, because if I wasn’t forced to wake up at 7 am, I would probably sleep until late and by 12 I’d probably just had my breakfast, a cup of tea and read the news.
I like the feeling of being in a team. Everyone in the boat affects everyone else. If you make a mistake you throw the whole boat off balance.
I also like the social side of it. Everyone there is passionate about rowing, otherwise they couldn’t do it. It’s great to be there with people that share that passion and as we are all quite new to rowing in our group, it’s also amazing to see how quickly we improve, week by week, session by session.
It feels like rowing has opened up a whole new parallel world, which was on my doorstep before, but I’ve not discovered it until now. It’s great having a new hobby which I’m really passionate about, and makes you think how many more opportunities there are out there to discover and get excited about. Although I don’t think I’ll have time to discover them right now, because I’ll probably be out rowing.