June 12, 2002

a geek, but not world-class

Today I did some strength training -- 13 sets of ten strokes, as hard as possible,
with a bungie cord around the boat to add resistance. It was fun in a way -- the
bungie creates much more wake so that when you go fast there's bubbles and spray
and a rooster-tail. (Well, OK, the rooster-tail effect was mostly in my head. But
there was much more wake than normal, anyhow.

However, I've concluded
I will never be a world-class rower. Well, I knew that, of course, because no
matter what else you do, you need to have the right genes to reach the top and I
don't, by about eight inches of height. However, another reason I will never be
world-class is that when I look at the training schedule of those who are, my
first reaction is still, "Are they crazy?" Here's a sample, and this is for a
lightweight woman, mind you:

I do a lot of single
sculling (@ 20 miles per day) much of which is done with a 20 foot rope that
floats. I tied knots every foot and it actually creates quite a drag. In
addition to the sculling I do numerous other cross training cardiovascular based
activities. One of my favorites is 100 flights of stadium stairs twice per week.
I cycle @ 30 miles per day and run or swim occasionally.

*excerpted from an article href="http://home.hia.no/~stephens/woodslet.htm">here

Any one of
those components would kill a normal person -- I can show you blisters from rowing
a mere 10K, my normal distance. And that's after my hands got used to it. But 20
miles is well over 30K, and the extra resistance from her knotted rope is not
inconsiderable. And that to the 30mi on a bike plus all the extras (elsewhere in
that article she'd mentioned weight training) and it becomes clear that the top
athletes have to come up with sponsors or rich relatives, because they can't
possibly work full time. And remember, this is a sport with no professional

All I can say is wow. And thank goodness there are regattas
on all levels so I don't need to compete against people like that.

the other hand, I scored 32 on the href="http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/1991/geek.html">Are you a Rowing Geek
, which is well into the range of geekhood.

Posted by dichroic at June 12, 2002 04:59 PM
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