Thursday, April 27, 2006

I love to row

I don't remember feeling this way.

You'd think, the way I've been raving about it, that it was obvious that I love rowing.

But my memories of rowing aren't exactly happy. I remember feeling tired for about a year. I remember feeling determined. I remember the adrenaline rush of racing and the frustrating last semester with my first coach. I remember being the last one in from the run every time for a year. I remember having one or two friends, if that, on the team. I remember the shy pride I felt when one of the coaches told me I was tough.

But joy? Happiness? They don't quite fit. I was always ready for practice to be over; I always dreaded it a bit. I always felt frustrated--either with myself or with the rest of the boat.

Last night, I rowed like crap. I've forgotten tons about technique, my timing was terrible and I had no compression. And how did I feel?

Happy. Really happy.

I wanted to row more. I wanted to go faster. I wanted practice to last longer. When our coach said, "I thought we'd have time for one more piece, but we don't. Take it in to the dock."

I thought, "I was hoping we'd have time for one more piece too."

Really? I thought that? I can't tell you how unlike me it feels to have had that thought.

But the whole thing was great. Being on the water was fantastic. The conditions were lousy. It was windy, we hit rough water and got splashed all over the place. The guy behind me kept chatting--there should be no talking in the boat, and I prefer it that way--but I didn't care.

I got my port seat and, as predicted, I was in 2—making me part of bow pair. Port felt so much better than starboard. Fantastic. I need to stay on port side. My right hand still bugs me, but not as much. The whole motion felt better, smoother, and more comfortable on port. It's what my body remembers.

My back was sore, again. This time it was the lower back, which means I'm doing something right, because my back always bugged me a tad when I was rowing. I did my little PT (physical therapy) back exercises the whole time I rowed at UNC. It's time to start again--I did them tonight when I got home, along with the stretching. I may have to start icing down my knees, though they don't hurt. I used to have to do that after every practice as well. I forgot how rucked up my body got from rowing. At the end of my first year, I was a big mass of overuse injuries.

I'm achy, exhausted and I can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Who knew?

P.S. This morning, I wasn't sore at all, except for a twinge in my right shoulder (that's from the biking/rowing combo). However, my quads were tired because I felt them complain on my very easy bike ride to work. That means I'm doing something right.

Grateful for: finally enjoying rowing.
Drop me a line.

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