Thursday, October 03, 2013

Rowing - Day One

Question: So what's it like getting in and out of the boat, does it feel like you will fall over?
Hell yes.
I used the boat ramp rather than the dock.
I'd rather get my feet wet than fall in altogether.
So you get in and the seat is sliding back and forth.
The oars are lost and you can't reach one of them, jeez, try to stick a foot out and snag it, almost tip over.
You're trying to put your feet in the feet holders, and strap them in.
Which is merde.
The last goddamn thing I want is my feet strapped into this deathtrap.
And the boat is rocking back and forth sideways like crazy.
And I'm thinking, "Can't drown in a foot of water, can I?”.
Hopefully not.
Finally, got the oars, lookie, if you turn them the right way they actually make the boat move.
Yowsa, that’s right.
And then the ramp has buoys and mooring buoys all over the goddamn place.
And you are backwards.
Why am I loving this?
Running into every frickin' one of them.
And you have to coordinate rolling the seat forward and feathering the oars so they don't drag on the water.
Thus fucking up the boat again and rocking it like mad.
Is it too late to buy a kayak?
And then you run into another fucking buoy.
Which is about the size of a very large beach ball, but floating concrete, scraping it's way down your new boat.
Is it too late to put on my PFD?  Can I even reach it?
I'm sure I was talking to myself, thank GAWD the lake is empty.  Do those houses have binoculars?
And gradually it came back.
Slide forward, bend the legs, hands forward, reach, feather the oars, grab the water, drive with the legs.
All the way, then pull with the arms, open the back just a little.
Feather the oars, slide back into a crouch.
Oh, then the oar handles are long enough to hit each other.
So you have to decide if your left hand is going under or the right is going over, or what?
And you keep forgetting that, and your shirt catches on an oar and gets stuck and jerks the boat around and punches you in the chest and you curse again.
You let the oars drop, large outriggers that steady the boat, and you float and look at the sky and the water shimmering in the sun, the birds wheeling and squeeling.
You can be rowing in a few trips, perfection takes a lifetime.
This is the perfect time to get out there.
Worse would be running into boats moored.
Oh, excuse me.
Don't mind me.
Not a great way to meet new people.
Then again.
They'd invite you on board and give you a drink just to save their boat.
Can’t wait to row again.


  1. Perfect!
    I love the agony and the ecstasy


  2. OK, so I was reading this and laughing to myself in an empty room, feeling your pain/joy/future sore muscles...sounds like you had a blast!

  3. Susan,
    It was all that and more. Her name came to me today, Sfidare, Italian for challenge, which is my word for the new year.