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Rower Profile – Natalie Thorp (Learn to Row)

By Steven Sullivan | In General News, Rower Profile | on October 30, 2016
I’ve come to rowing much later in life than the majority of rowers so my chance of being on an Olympic team has probably passed me by (and I’m at least a foot too short anyway!). I never really did much exercise when I was younger – travel was more my thing; doing a variety of jobs (jungle guiding, conservation, teaching) in a range of countries such as Peru, Hong Kong, and America. I would have an occasional go at skiing (because of the scenery) and rock climbing (because my ex was obsessed with it), neither with much success. I also tried running but found it hard to motivate myself when running alone. My love of being on the water started 6 years ago during a sea kayaking holiday in Greece and, when I moved up to the Lake District a year later, I joined the local kayaking club, about 100m up river from JoG! During practice sessions I would watch Uni scullers go up and down the river and think that it looked a rather monotonous sport to be honest! However, whilst I love sea kayaking, I was not too keen on white water rivers, mainly because I kept capsizing and freezing to death, so when my daughter said she wanted to join the rowing club I thought I’d come along and have a go at the Learn to Row course. Five months in I’m finding it anything but monotonous..it is the most mentally challenging sport I have ever done! I’m constantly thinking about how to move muscles I didn’t even know I had! I’ve just reached the stage when there are starting to be fleeting seconds when it all comes together; getting a beautiful sensation of gliding along and being at one with the boat and river. Being part of a really supportive team that relies on you is also a new and touching experience that I’m proud of. Whilst I’m never going to be a seriously competitive rower I’m certainly going to give those ducks a run for their money! Natalie Thorp

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