Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The rowing download

Somehow, in yesterday's post, I forgot to muse about rowing. And, there was plenty for my brain to chew on. Was a tough morning in kind of an interesting, new way.

And, wouldn't you know, it's bedtime-past.... But still, some things must be done.

So, Tuesdays are somewhat "pieces" day -- well, more than somewhat, they are. And Wise Coach Jeff will say things like "not outright racing" ... but you put competitive rowers (forgive the oxymoron) alongside each other, what do you think will happen??

Usually I feel like I'll mentally "give" first -- any kind of racing mindset in a single is quite new for me, and when water's choppy, as basin water always is, that gets me every time. But Tuesday, it felt like my body was all outta whack -- tense, stressed, not flowing, not feeling it. Perhaps my mind was being ultra sneaky and hiding it as my body. But it felt different. Not good different, but different. So, I worked on good mental attitude (it does get tiring, but what else can I do?).

The workout was four 8-minute pieces; we were supposed to be bumping up ratings every time, sometimes halfway through the piece. My body was having none of anything above a 24 (strokes per minute) and sometimes not even that. So, challenging. I was fighting the impending feeling of just feeling lame & slow, starting way ahead of everyone else (and they would catch me), and trying to keep working on the same damn basic shit that is so hard and will make me better.

The third piece seemed to get a little better -- the first few minutes of it were great, actually, then I hit the Bermuda Triangle of always-crap water before the Mass Ave bridge. Yeah.

Then it was time for the last piece -- supposedly at a 26, then up to 28. Ha. I was trying, trying, trying to just push myself, have a good piece, without even remotely worrying about the rating -- saw I was at a 22 at one point, so 4 strokes/minute lower than the others (a lot). Coming up on the Mass Ave bridge, I felt a story shaping in my head, about just how humbling rowing was (this is true), how much I had left to learn (also true), how it kicked my ass today ... and then I realized I was giving myself instructions there, and the piece wasn't over yet, and fuck no!

So, I pulled it together (nearly nailing adorable little goslings stupidly hanging out under the bridge and having foreign tourists yell at me from above for the near-miss), and I will say -- I had an awesome last minute! I just went for it, passed two other people who are faster than me, saw a 27 1/2 at one point -- and I must also note the water had flattened. I can row in good water! I can! It's the bad stuff....

Anyway, life lessons there, so much yet to learn, why I'll forever love rowing -- because it can and will forever kick my ass -- but not every time, every minute....

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