May 31, 2001

Rowing can be fun

Dammit, I just lost my whole entry. It was brilliant, really, I swear. The gist was that we had a very fun practice this morning, and I was trying to figure why it was fun, in order to offer suggestions at tonight’s big rowers’ meeting.

We rowed an 8+; only 7 people showed up, but luckily two juniors were there to use the ergs so we co-opted them. Yosemite Sam was a little upset at the low turnout, but I think it’s because we’re about to switch back from having practice 5 days a week to MWF. I don’t think it was the juniors’ presence that made the difference, though certainly if they had not been good rowers they could have kept it from being fun. One rower screwing up is enough to ruin everyone else’s practice.

We did short power pieces -- 6 x 500 meters at 80% pressure, 500 meters at a paddle. Doing power can be fun, and doing it for these short pieces is more so. Rowing to the point of exhaustion, while occasionally necessary, is Not Fun. We also did a drill, rowing with feet out of our shoes, which severs your connection to the boat during the recovery, forcing you to come up the slide slowly.

I think the amount of coaching Yosemite Sam did was also a factor. Not too much, which makes us feel we’re being nagged and not getting anywhere, nor too little, which makes us feel ignored. I think he could actually have given us a little more, but not a lot more.

Tonight’s meeting is at DrunkTina’s house. She’s a little cliquish and doen’t particularly like me. (I think it’s partly because she’s only 5’3", though emphatically not a lightweight, and is afraid someone will class her with me and not let her row with the "big girls". She’s got plenty of strength, though she’s not quite as good a rower as she thinks she is, but somehow seems to think being smaller is somehow inferior.) I’m going to ask someone else to present the list of ideas we came up with the other day, on the theory that it’s more important to have them listened to than for me to speak. Ben Franklin said it:

The objections and reluctances I met with in soliciting the subscriptions, made me soon feel the impropriety of presenting one’s self as the proposer of any useful project, that might be suppos’d to raise one’s reputation in the smallest degree above that of one’s neighbors, when one has need of their assistance to accomplish that project. I therefore put myself as much as I could out of sight, and stated it as a scheme of a number of friends, who had requested me to go about and propose it to such as they thought lovers of reading. In this way my affair went on more smoothly, and I ever after practis’d it on such occasions; and, from my frequent successes, can heartily recommend it. The present little sacrifice of your vanity will afterwards be amply repaid. If it remains a while uncertain to whom the merit belongs, some one more vain than yourself will be encouraged to claim it, and then even envy will be disposed to do you justice by plucking those assumed feathers, and restoring them to their right owner.

Posted by dichroic at May 31, 2001 08:31 AM
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