So, as part of my kili training, I signed up for rowing. Technically what I signed up for was 'Get Fit for Rowing'. Which means there's rowing, sure. But not on the water, and definitely not on a boat. I know, I was disappointed at first too. Except then we rowed on machines. And you know what? Rowing is fucking hard. It is Fucking (capital F) Hard (capital H). We do two sessions a week, and today, as I type this, it's a day after the 3rd session. And I hurt. Oh I hurt I hurt I hurt. The top of my back, and behind my arms, and my abs and my behind and my thighs and my calves.... they all hurt. They all protest when I move and they ache and ow. Ow ow ow ow. I'm hoping this is a good thing. I'm hoping this is my body going through change that will get me up a mountain. A really large giant mountain.
So, at this point, the sessions go thus. We go for a run. Even though it's -3 °C outside. We go for a run. And we run as fast as the 6ft boys with stupidly long legs run, which means we're running much faster than the pace someone with my short little legs can keep up with. But I try, I hang out at the back and force my body to take one more step and to keep up and try hide that my lungs want to burst from my chest because clearly breathing through my mouth is inefficient and there's much more oxygen outside my chest cavity. TMI? Trying to describe how much pain I'm is what I do to distract myself from how much pain I'm in.
It's okay though, because we stop. Just when I think I can't possibly make my body take another step, or push any harder we stop. And we do lunges. Or squats. Or push ups. Or circuits. Or whatever it is that the coach of our little team thinks we should do. I like him, his name is Ronnie and he's very fresh faced and English. He's a generally upbeat kind of guy, which is definitely the kind of guy you want telling you to do 10 more squats or push ups or lunges, because else you'd want to punch him in the face.
After the run (when you can't feel your fingers anymore, but that's okay because mostly your body is glad you're not running anymore) we hang out in a room with lots of ergos. And we row on the machines. Lately it's been about technique. About sitting up straight and thinking about your core and getting in the body tilt after your arms are away but before you relax. It's about ratio, one big bang and then two recoveries (DRIVE recover recover DRIVE). It's about thinking really hard about what your body is doing and trying to feel your way through it without actually understanding what you're doing wrong.
Well, that last bit is a lie. When Ronnie stands over my machine and points at me, I usually self correct before he has a chance to verbally say it. It's always my core, or the body rock. Or that I'm being lazy and aren't extending out far enough. Whatevs.
It's pretty fun, actually. We all row with matchin strokes (or we try) like a little team. It's quite fun. Hard, but I enjoy it. The team is pretty fun, too. We're slowly beginning to work out whose who and form friendships. There's two other girls in the team so that's been quite fun. One of the guys is in asset management, and there's Phil who has a fairly strong South African accent.
I'm clearly the weakest link, and the least fit of the team, but I'm enjoying it so far. Ronnie told me that if I keep my back straight I have a beautiful stroke. Or perhaps he said good. Or lovely. I can't remember. I was mostly stoked about the praise that I forgot to sit straight and ruined everything.
So yes. We're in week two. Four weeks to go. I'm hoping at the end of it I'll be much fitter than I am, and ready to climb a mountain.
Do any of you row?