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!