I started out with some good skills: I tend to be very balanced in the boat, and my timing is good. But this time around, I discovered that I’d had a lot of bad rowing habits in my college days, and thanks to my muscle memory, I fell right back into them. For example, I was using my back too soon in the stroke—you want to push with your legs first and brace yourself with your back—and my hands would pause unnecessarily at the end of each stroke. So those were things I remembered but had to unlearn. And although that’s taken some time, I have really appreciated the coaching that has helped me master the new millennium’s improved techniques.
My team won its very first race last summer, at the Diamond State Regatta in Delaware. A few weeks later, we came in second at the Masters Nationals in Camden, New Jersey. Competitions bring out the best in me. When the boat truly flows, it’s a real high that you want to experience over and over—I’m always seeking the elusive perfect row.
Yeah, I think I’m hooked again.
Originally published in the April 2011 issue of More.
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