Swimming isn’t the only sport for water-lovers.
If you love fostering collaboration, developing rhythm, gaining physical strength and overcoming hurdles, club rowing may be the right exercise for you.
As a former collegiate rower, I could tell you that the sound of my boat’s oars gave me chills. Especially at regattas where my teammates and I were trudging through rough waters and crazy power-10s.
Five years later, I’m still applying those boat moments to my adult life. Below are four things you gain from club rowing.
There is no “I’ in team or #squadgoals. Especially when you have to physically manpower a boat with seven other rowers and a demanding coxswain. Club rowing is a collaborative sport because everyone works together to accomplish anything from feathering exercises to actual races. Although you may be responsible for your oar, everyone’s movements contribute to the boat’s speed. Because you guys spend so much time together in this mini ship, friendships will most likely result in the process. Club rowing forces you to bond in a good way because physical and mental cooperation is necessary for all types of situations.
All exercises have some sort of counting method. Regardless if you are breakdancing or playing tennis, physical activity has rhythm. Club rowing literally allows your team to create a soundtrack…except it’s on the water. If all oars are in unison, the boat will glide efficiently. With the help of a coxswain’s calls, all rowers work together to be insync. It takes tons of practice, but it’s so satisfying when you go from eight movements to one. Even if you don’t row for years and come back to it, surprisingly your body will know what to do!
Arms.Back. Legs. Club rowing works out all of the above surprisingly. Although you may be hating every minute of practice, your body will thank you later during the toughest meter dashes. During the catch, your body compresses while the blade is perpendicular to the water. From there, you drive as the legs, back and then arms power the oar through the water. At the finish, your body has to straighten as the oar comes out of the water. So take your individual stroke and add seven more to that. Your body will become incredibly strong over time and you can pretty much conquer any other exercise after that.
We all have those moments where we are working out so hard we start to doubt and let the pain sink in. Club rowing helps you and your teammates get through it all with positive encouragement. It may be a hard practice or a killer race, but with everyone’s help you will get through it. Whether it’s the coxswain yelling “LENGTHEN” or you guys screaming “PUSH” to each other, it is incredibly powerful in the moment and it gets you through the tough times later on.