Something a little more lighthearted this week as the isolation period will undoubtedly mean a lot of time for questioning of those around you and for anyone that rows, this topic leads little to no introduction. If you don’t row and want a sure fire way of making a rowers blood boil then this is a good starting point!
ROWING? OH YEAH, ITS LIKE KAYAKING RIGHT!?
Mistaking rowing with kayaking is almost like an insult for a rower and they are not likely to forget anytime soon. Not that rowers have something against kayaking! It’s just a totally different sport and maybe rowing is not as popular as kayaking but there are huge disparities between the two, and it’s nice when people know the difference. Just as an example: KAYAKERS go FORWARD, ROWERS go BACKWARDS. Kayakers mainly use their UPPER body, rowers their LOWER body….easy.
SO WHAT’S UP WITH YOUR HANDS, CAN’T YOU PUT ON A PAIR OF GLOVES?
Ok, so let’s make it clear, there are times in a year especially at the beginning of the season when a rower’s hands look as if they had some kind of flesh eating skin condition. It doesn’t happen to everyone but it’s a very common thing. With increased mileage in a boat, blisters tend to go away, hands simply have to get used to the rowing grip. YES, they look disgusting, they bleed, skin peels off, and YES it hurts. But despite all that rowers just don’t wear gloves. You want to know why? Because their hands would look probably even worse, due to constant hand movement which would create more blisters. So although it seems to be a smart thing to do, don’t tell rowers to wear gloves unless you want to hear a simple coldblooded NO as an answer.
WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? (WHEN SEEING A ROWER IN A UNISUIT)
This is a difficult subject. All rowers wear a one piece, tight like a glove, spandex. The spandex may have different colors, according to the club or country represented…which doesn’t change the fact that it’s TIGHT and it shows off different body parts….
Some rowers love their unisuits, they have different collections and they then exchange with others. SOME rowers hate wearing spandex and they only do so during rowing regattas. We can’t say that it’s mandatory, but it’s simply the most comfortable outfit designed for rowing, and unless you are rowing on a single, you have to wear matching clothing with the rest of your boatmates. So even if belly rolls stick out here and there (very embarrassing), rowers have to deal with it holding their heads high up, acting as this is their TOP outfit. Simply don’t ask a rower about it, focus on your own outfit instead.
SO DURING WINTER, YOU HAVE A VACATION?
Here’s the thing, yes, rowing is an outdoor sport, and it’s quite difficult to row when it snows and the rivers/lakes are frozen, but that doesn’t mean that rowers take a break from working out. You might be surprised but they actually work out MORE during the offseason! Weightlifting, cross-country skiing, hiking, running, erging, running, swimming, indoor cycling… oh yes, they do all that.. and it takes hours, maaany hours. But then when the season comes they are so fit that you should think twice before challenging them in any physical activity… these people workout all year long and they are tough to beat!
SO DOES THAT MEAN I’M A ROWER? I ROW EVERY DAY AT THE GYM/HOME.
Yes, yes of course it does… So fundamentally rowing on an erg (indoor rower) has a lot similarities to water rowing BUT calling yourself a rower because you use it as part of your training a few times a week – does not make you a rower. Ergs were designed as a training tool to help with winter training and enable those who have access to still crank out the meters during times they could not get to the lake. Sorry indoor rowers but you still need to earn your stripes and get good at falling into the water if you’re going to call yourself a rower.
Any more questions that get under your skin?? Leave us your thoughts / comments. We love to know what questions you’ve had from those who haven’t experienced the joys of rowing.
Yours in exercise, fitness and answering dumb ass questions.
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