Year (and years) ago, the family unit decided that we all loved to row. We knew about the lake nearby and we’d seen boats on it, so we phoned up to enquire about lessons and joyfully signed up.
No doubt it was after seeing an Olympic event, but alas I am getting ahead of myself. We show up the first night and get a tour of the boat house, learn the proper names and see all the awards lining the walls. It didn’t dawn on me that the cigarette slim boats lining the walls were the actual vessels we would be getting into. If you’re not familiar with these things, let’s just say its like slipping into a French fry, they are about that wide. Then you’re expected to strap your feet in snugly and SIT BACKWARDS on the boat. That’s right, the whole time you’re rowing in your teeny tiny boat you’re craning your neck back to make sure you don’t slam into the boggy part (we’ll get to that later) or into an Olympian practicing (yeah, that was close).
Thankfully they put the three of us into a quad (4 person boat), but just getting into the thing is perilous because it wobbles terribly and you can only grip onto the dock for so long before you lunge yourself into the itsy bitsy piece of molded plastic that is supposed to fit your bum (who designs these things?). Oars are fitted into their slots and some demon actually pushes your boat away from the dock and forces you to do something. If you dare breathe too hard the boat rocks perilously and you’ve got 3 other people to think about.
But then somehow you lift your eyes above the water and start to see the beauty. You begin stroking the oars through the water and it glides you effortlessly through the lake. The three others in your boat all get in tune and the wind is breezing through your hair. Slowly your confidence builds and you sit tall and think “I can do this”. That is until its time to head back to the dock and you have to figure a way to get out of the boat.