Friday, August 17, 2012

Skittles Sculls

But first - skating news.  I am NOT getting to skate on Saturday.  Apparently Saturday at 9:00 a.m. is the only time possible for our realtor to show us houses.  It is also one of two times all week that I get to be on freestyle ice (and two times all week there is learn to skate).  Are you kidding me?

Okay, and the title is misleading, I didn't scull.  But I did complete the learn to row starter package, which means I can now sign up for team practices.
The last part of the starter package was a river tour and a lesson on the ergs (rowing machine).

Here is what I learned on the river tour:
-The dams will kill you.  Do not go anywhere near the dams.  You will be on a major shit list if you ever go under the railroad bridge (2 bridges before the dam on that side).  The Burlington street dam is invisible from the water, but it will kill  you.  The Coralville dam is visible from the water, but if you can see it, you are too close- it will also kill you.  Dams = death.
-River right of way is serious business.  The women's team gets priority.  Stay out of their way.  Unless you are too incapable to stay out of their way (likely...) If so, make sure to shout a verbal warning so they don't expect you to act.  Slow people stay to the right of the river, just like a road.  Seems easy enough, except:
-The banks of the river are filled with trees and other things to run into.  Don't hit them. 

So, now I'm pretty terrified of rowing because death awaits me on either side of the stretch of river we row, I need to stay as far right as possible to not be in the way, but also not too far right because there is tons of stuff to run into.  Fantastic!

There are also a million landmarks to remember, because she refers to them in practice. 

After the river tour, which took about 45 minutes (big river!) we went into the boat house and I tried to erg on slides.
Slides are the neatest thing- rather than pulling against an erg that stays in place, you pull the erg underneath you, much like a boat.  However, it totally wrecks all sense of body awareness.  I did okay on the drive (legs, body, arms) but then on the recovery (arms, body, legs) my legs would suddenly either not move at all, or they would move at the same time as my arms- absolutely baffling.   I only banged the erg against the edge of the slider once (though I was going really slow, so it was probably because I was being careful) which R.C. said she expects beginners to do- so apparently coordination on these things is difficult.

Then I learned how to read the monitor, what split times we generally row at (much faster than I was going), what strokes for minute to aim at (I was at that- um, apparently I don't row with much power...), how only the drive affects the split time, not the recovery, and how to set a workout.

Then she showed me the sign up website they use for practice, and I am free to sign up!

Except, I'm terrified.  I looked at the practices, and while they have been split into recreational and competitive, it appears there are only a few people who only row in the recreational groups.  Most of the rowers are part of the competitive group (which is my eventual goal).  This sunday there is a practice I can go to, a combined one.  But everyone in the group is a competitive rower, and most row 3-4 times a week.  I'm terrified I'd be too slow and crappy.  So I'm thinking I should wait until next Thursday and row at a rec practice.  Except everyone signed up for next Thursday is a competitive rower too- so it's really the same issue as Sunday, but a slightly smaller group, and they are knowingly going to a slower paced practice.

But mostly, it's just the social anxiety thing that made me want to run away from my first ice show practice...  But seriously- with rowing, there are SO many things to run into.  And unlike ice skating, you never get to go forwards.

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