|Dennis our handsome mascot keeping a close eye on his comrades|
Rowing isn't a sport I've ever really been particularly interested in or even considered taking on myself...except for when the annual boat races come by and all the buff lovelies take to the Thames to defend the honor of their respective universities while we cheer on fueled by excessive amounts of gin.
On this occasion however, I was fuelled by cake...mmmmm.....cake.
I got a chance to experience rowing firsthand this week on what turned out to be a pretty awesome sunny and scorching day out right here in London.
Being novices to the sport, none of us knew what to expect from the day. My only goal was to not fall into the gross Thames water especially as I couldn't shake the visions of Victorian era sewage flowing through the banks all those many moons ago. Such a weirdo I know.
Anyhow, we headed over to the London Regatta Centre right by City Airport.
First we were brought into a room to learn the proper technique on a rowing machine (standard gym ones). Then we got upgraded to the indoor wave boats.
Apparently, these are the closest you can get to the sensation of rowing without actually being on the actual water. The side pools turn into a sort of wave pool. It was all fine until they turned the waves on. My somewhat perfected technique was no match for moving water. That's when the fear set in. This rowing business is no joke!
After lots of practicing on the fake inside boat we were unleashed out into the real boats after a stern boat etiquette briefing.
For some reason, they paired tall and short in mixed formations?? They are the experts of course but Lord that sure made things difficult for short*ss me once we started trying to synchronize the rows.
If you look closer at that smile, you'll see the dread hidden inside.
We set off on our practice runs.
Look at that concentration!! As I was placed at the very back, my job was steer us and do most of the maneuvering of the boat to get us away from the "shore" and eventually in place for the big race finale.
My team did not win (sorry coach Ty). But these guys did. With the help of 2 professional coaches on board I must add. But hey I'm not bitter. I only gave it my all.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was so different from anything I've ever attempted sportswise. I had to pay more attention this afternoon than I've had to in a very long time and although it was hard, it was oddly therapeutic. It also helped that if you didn't do the technique proper, the oar would attempt to smack you in the chest/face/knuckles so you had to work them just right.
Everything is sore today - muscles I didn't know I had. I would TOTALLY do it again 100% and I highly recommend everyone give it a go at least once. Such a fun day! Get in touch with the Regatta Centre here.
And no, I did not fall in the water. But I did get splashed with what I can only assume is some sort of post-Victorian sewage plaque water. Watch this space :-/.
What's sports do you guys do that I need to try?