Saturday, April 9, 2011
Last week was a lot of fun. I spent it learning how to scull at the Florida Rowing Center. I felt itwas time and money well-spent. Unfortunately I think I may have been bitten by the rowing bug which has created a whole new set of problems such as: 1) How am I going to get a boat? 2) Where will I keep it? 3) Where and when can I row it? Honestly the big issue is where will I keep it. There are no actual clubs around me which is a little odd given that I live a few miles from one of the great lakes. This of course creates yet another issue. A sleek racing boat isn't going to cut it here on most days. Windy conditions and cold slightly choppy water is par for the course, even in the bay. Yep, I need a stable open water type boat. Having had the distinct pleasure of capsizing at rowing school made me realize that if that happened in my cold lake, I'd be in big trouble. I also got to row home during a sudden storm with 60 mph gusts. That was my second day on the water. Luckily I was in a stable boat that could handle the whitecaps in spite of my near zero skills. That's the boat I'm going to get. In a nutshell I loved it. I learned a lot and it will take me the rest of my life to get better at this. Sculling is sort of like golf. No matter how much you practice or play, there is always room to improve. For some reason I enjoy that sort of thing. The instructors were great and very patient with this novice. In fact the title of this post comes from something one of the coaches, Harvey, taught me.
As with any complex skill when you are learning you are doing many things wrong, in this case maybe it is using the arms too soon, not manteling, allowing the core to collapse, feathering out of the water, not waiting for the oars to fill, gripping to tight and about twenty other things. Harvey calls these things rabbits. Why? What happens if a fox chases 3 rabbits at a time? He gets zero rabbits. So it goes with learning. It is easier and more effective to focus on correcting one thing at a time and then moving on to the next rabbit. So take the golf swing for example. Perhaps you are struggling with a slice and usually there are several reasons why. A good place to start may be relaxing the grip so you can get the hands around a bit more. Once that is grooved move on to the stance or something. In any case if you try to do everything right all at once you won't fix anything. Food for thought.
If you are at all interested in rowing you might want to consider the Florida Rowing Center. www.http://floridarowingcenter.com/ It is near Palm Beach and I enjoyed the 85 degree temperatures whilst it was snowing back home. Here is the view of the lake we rowed on: