So in my last post, I mentioned that I got myself talked into competing at the Pittsburgh Indoor Rowing Championships, which was this past Saturday. The “Championship” part is for the high school and college age teams, but there are also events for adults. It is a huge event, with 500 – 600 people competing. It is a qualifying event for the World Indoor Rowing Championships which are held in Boston every March. Selected first place finishers get free airfare to Boston to compete in that event. And some of the finishers in THAT event get picked for the Junior National Teams and/or the Olympic teams. Needless to say, I’m not in that category.
One thing I can say about rowers - they are a dedicated bunch! There is a group from our boathouse who meets to practice every day at 5:30. That’s a.m. Oh-dark-thirty. As in ‘before the sun is up’. And they are really INTENSE! I’m definitely not one of the intense people. I row because it is a great low impact exercise, and it is something that I know I will be able to do for a long time. And there is just nothing like the feeling of gliding over the water in a shell (rowing boat) and working as a team with the other people in the boat. And even when we have to be indoors, the movement on an erg (rowing machine) mimics that feeling.
This is an example of the view from an erg during a race.
On Saturday, I overheard coaches telling their teams how they should pace themselves and that they should develop a strategy for each portion of the race, etc. One of my teammates asked our coach what the goals should be for the race. He said #1- don't fall off the erg, and #2 - finish! I am sooo glad that our coach was so laid back about it, especially for my first race. I met both goals! And I'm proud to say that I also met my own personal goal, which was "don't finish last"! ;->