Monday, October 25, 2010

Ghosts of the Charles

Morning after.

Overcast sky, the river more than just silent, empty -- devoid. But still reverberating under the silent air are the weekend's sounds: rowers' cries, panting breaths, clashing oars, cox'ns calls, announcer's amplified words, spectators' screams. You can feel it in the air still, not fully dissipated.

Shells of white tents, empty of bodies, chairs, merchandise, food and drink, line the river. The bright-blue-and-white Head of the Charles banner still hangs from Cambridge Boat Club, but the finish line banner is gone.

I have the river almost to myself, an unsurprising fact I discovered a few years back, and now it is a bit of a tradition for me to row the course on my own, feeling the energy of the weekend draining as the river reclaims itself in silence and calm water.

On the way back, I see the beautiful blue heron who graces our river. Long-legged, dignified, shadows of blue and grey. I stop when I see him, let Pepper drift, realize we are the only souls on the river. Well, us and the ghosts of the Charles....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall, it fell

Except, naturally, as I write this, New England weather needs to mock me by being low 60s and sunny. Whatever. Generally speaking, I speak the truth.

More trees are looking gorgeous in their fiery fall finery (how could I resist that sequence?), we've had frost warnings, the building's radiators are most definitely on, gazing at a week's forecast, I'm now seeing highs in the 50s ... and I'm starting to freak about Pepper's miles (ah-gain). Yes, it's definitely fall.

Next weekend, Head of the Charles, yi. No racing for me this year, and I'm all right w/ that. I'll be on the course all weekend, soaking it up, screaming for Riverside at every blue-and-white stripey blade that goes by. Good times.

Happy Fall, y'all (it rhymes!).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Photos (+ results) from the fight!

Belatedly, it dawns on me that I should offer some visuals from the awesomeness that was Fight Gone Bad. Right?

First link is still photos from my gym's FGB. Mercifully, I am barely featured! But they give a nice slice of the intensity.

If you want more, and more live action, here's a link to videos that gyms around the world made of their FGBs:

The fundraising went amazingly, to which I credit all you fantastic folks! My goal was $250; y'all stepped way the hell up and donated $740. ! ! Money well spent for some great causes. Thank you all so much, donators and not alike, for all your support, always.

Oh yeah, and I did the harder version (v glad I did) ... and my grand total was 199. Which made me laugh. Really? I didn't have one more rep in me?? Course, you don't know your score til after, but a good reminder/fuel for next time....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall! Head season!

No moaning & groaning about time elapsed since last post. Not gonna do it.

No tears spilling over how much I miss daily posting. Goes without being said.

What's new is fall. Here, most definitely. Trees are beginning to turn, one gorgeous red-leafed spotting so far, but just the one. Crispness underlies the air, even in the warm sun. Last night, a frost warning, lows in the high 30s. Also, the great fall marker: Head of the Charles season -- the banners are up at the bridges, making it official.

This morning was the second "Head of the Kevin," my club's awesome pre-HOCR race series, featuring a complex scoring system in which everyone races for points against the time standard for their event at HOCR. The Heads of the Kevin (named after their founder, who still runs them) are always grand fun, everyone gets really into it and smack talks all over our email list, there's a big breakfast spread after each one ... it's all generally excellent.

This one was particularly great for me as I got to race in it -- our masters 8 needed a sub, so in I went. Heading out my front door at 5:50, the stars were bright overhead, which made me smile. I do miss the consistent early team-rowing mornings, if not the sleep deprivation. No racing for me since last HOCR, so I was a little worried about, you know, dying, but it was fun! I mean, really painful fun in which you're gasping for breath and knowing you can't keep going except you do ... fun!

Every year, HOCR season plays out a little differently for me, and I never know in advance just how it's going to be. This year, it's not looking highly likely I'll race. It's possible, if I make weight, that I could race in a lightweight 4+. If. I've never made weight while lifting, and since I sure wasn't about to stop CrossFit, and the boat is iffy/not clear how it'll come together/definitely a "jump in and go" kind of thing ... I'm giving it a shot, but can't say I'm in the weight-loss business full heart and soul. Which I may need to be. But, I'm trying. That's all I can ask for. We start practices tomorrow, which means no sweep rowing for a year then BOOM! Go! Daily practices! Early in the o'dark mornings! Should be interesting.