Saturday, 10 January 2009

A Very Different Kind of Boating

Today, at the somewhat ungodly hour of 8am, and with air temperatures hovering somewhere around freezing, I finally did what I've been wanting to do for a long time, and went on my first outing in a rowing eight.

Rowing has been a somewhat large part of my life every since I've been with James. Many an evening I've sat with hm, and other 'boatie' friends and endured hours of discussions regarding such confusing concepts as 'splits', 'ratings', 'catches' and 'finishes'. James has coxed for years now, starting while he was at university. I had, however, always remained adamant that I was not a boatie.

But last summer, I changed my mind. I did what I had so often done, and cycled along the bank watching the crews out on the Cam in the sunshine, and wanted to be out there too. So I went out for my first time in a training tub, thoroughly enjoyed it and resolved to continue learning. But somehow, living in London, buying Lucky Duck, moving Lucky Duck (which of course, continues even now we're in Cam) and work got in the way of my training... So it came to January, and I'd still not been on a 'proper' outing in an eight. I suffer from bad circulation, and when I get cold, Raynauld's sydrome can start affecting my fingers, but having found that cycling fast enough seemed to prevent it from happening, I felt sure that as long as I was working hard enough, my fingers would be OK. So, this morning I wrapped up in as many layers as possible (bar gloves - they prevent proper grip on the handle) and went for it. And I loved it. I didn't make as much of an idiot of myself as I thought I would, and I didn't feel too cold. Only when we took the boat out of the river after the outing and the water froze to the hull did I realise just how cold it actually was!

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