The rowing adventure continues. I must be improving but sometimes the progress looks very slow. I have had 4 or 5 lessons now.
The critic in me wants to classify me as Completely Crap. The other part of me that knows I shouldn’t be so hard on myself reminds me that several things happen successfully every lesson:
- I get in and out of the boat without falling in.
- I move the boat from A to B, if not smoothly, well, I do move it.
- I mainly stay on the correct side of the river.
- I keep my oars in the water, mainly.
- After last Sunday, everyone on the Yarra now knows my name.
I will explain.
Several of us had a lesson. Three more advanced people went on ahead, they were much faster than "Pete" and I. One of the coaches cycled along the path beside the river keeping them company, Sue cycled along the path keeping "Pete" and I company.
And yelling instructions. Through a megaphone. Frequently.
“Stella, straighten your legs before you bend your arms!”
I try to concentrate on this while wondering why I am not going in a straight line. Looking back behind I notice a bridge. Crap, now I have to avoid the bridge.
Above is one on the bridges I need to negotiate. There are different "rules" about which arch you can pass through according to which side of the river you are on.
“Stella, go through the first arch of that bridge!”
I get through the first arch and don't crash into the pylon. Sue telling me to line up my stern with the arch doesn't help because I am not going in a straight line.
“Stella, you are now in the wrong lane!”
I know this and spend a lot of time rowing with just my right oar to correct myself.
“Stella, square your right blade in the water!"
I try, no idea why I can't do this uniformly, as I try to concentrate on my arms and legs and look back behind me so I don't run into the bank.
“Stella, now I want you to concentrate on straightening your legs first!”
“Stella, you don’t row a boat with your arms!”
Adding to the tension:
“Stella, avoid the rubbish catcher up along there!”
Still not rowing in a straight line.
“Stella, now you’re over-squaring your blade!”
Now I just wanna stop.
“Stella, don’t move your arms until your legs are straight. Doesn’t that feel better?”
Almost home and the river turns a corner.
“Stella, don’t row into the bank!”
Technically I know what I should be doing, just not quite doing it yet. Yes, that would be bending my arms before my legs are fully straight.
A less loud conversation where we chatted from the bank and the boat went like this:
“I think your right wrist if more flexible than your left, so you over-square. That’s special, I don’t know how to teach that.” Sue observed, explaining why I am incapable of rowing in a straight line.
“Fabulous, thanks Sue. Perhaps you can mention how special I am on the megaphone too? I’m just going to wear a name tag next Sunday in case anyone misses who I am.”