My rowing partner Deb ordered a new single scull today. She had been rowing a used boat that was too big for her. Although she prefers team boats, she got a single during the pandemic, when there was no team rowing. Going out on the river in a single made her nervous, as they are tippy boats in general, and more so when they’re too big for the rower. At first, she was slow.

She persevered, though, and dutifully went out on the river all spring and summer to do the exercises on her training plan, even when the weather was rainy or windy. Now she is noticeably faster in the single. When her new boat gets delivered and she has one that’s the right size for her, I expect she’ll win a lot of races (and probably leave me far behind, if we’re in the same race). Persistence really does pay off.

Word-art that says, "Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to encourage self-nurturing and to “give the planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.”

Today I took a midmorning break to go down to the basement and do a live workout on the Hydrow rowing machine. I was getting close to 7 million lifetime meters, and when you’re about to reach a milestone on a live row, the instructor gives you a shout-out to recognize the accomplishment. My lifetime meters weren’t quite close enough, however, so I had to do a long warm-up first. I did a “virtual journey” with scenery going by on the screen, but even so, it still felt a bit tedious.

When I finished my warm-up and joined the live workout, the instructor, Aisyah, gave me a nice shout-out. She was rowing in a single scull on the Charles River, and she said that it was hot in Boston, but she wasn’t going to complain. She talked about the importance of getting a workout regularly, even when it starts to feel like a grind. Exercise routines and Monday mornings are good for you, she said.

The workout was 30 minutes at an easy pace, and I felt pretty good afterward. Several people who did the live row gave me nice comments in the Hydrow app, and a “7M” badge appeared on the right side of the screen. Hydrow has badges for milestones and for special-event workouts, such as holidays. Clicking on a badge starts animated confetti flying.

Screenshot from Hydrow rowing machine showing 7M badge.

Sometimes it can seem a bit silly, all the bells-and-whistles gadgets that the modern world uses to keep us interested in our daily grinds. Still, they are mostly good for us, as we need to stick with routines to make meaningful changes over time. Whatever keeps us going is helpful, even when it gets corny.

I came home from vacation on Monday evening, and since then I’ve been feeling much refreshed. According to my Fitbit, my resting heart rate has gone down several beats. I’ve had dreams in which I am very healthy, adventurous, and full of energy. Although the partial scenes I remembered after waking up were not totally clear, all of them left me feeling good.

Word-art that says "Follow your dreams. They know the way."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to encourage self-nurturing and to “give the planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.”

I’ve been on vacation this week, in Sarasota, with my husband and some friends who are rowing with us at the Masters Nationals regatta. Today was the first day of racing, and I had a busy schedule, with two quads (4-person sculling boats) and my single. The first quad was a women’s lightweight crew. We got down the course pretty fast and won second place. Then I rowed in a mixed quad with my husband and two friends who also rowed a quad with us at last summer’s regatta. We improved on our performance from the previous year and took third place.

By the time I rowed the single later in the day, I didn’t have much energy left, and I ended up finishing last. Still, I felt that I was rowing smoothly and not making mistakes, which was something. Every time I go out in the single, I feel just a little more comfortable in it. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought there was any possibility I would race a single scull at major regattas. They are tiny boats that feel as if they could tip over at any time (although they don’t really). It takes some persistence to get out and row one anyway.

Word-art that says, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible." -Walt Disney

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to encourage self-nurturing and to “give the planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.”

While taking a break from my work this morning, I went out to the backyard and walked along the row of willows that I’ve been trying to keep alive. All of the willow bushes (they are no longer big enough to be called trees) are still surviving, although climate change stress has killed a few more branches that I’ll have to cut back in the fall.

I felt pretty cheerful when I saw that all the cuttings that I planted earlier this year are looking good. Even when it seems as if the world is falling apart, Nature just keeps on going, like the loving mother that she is, always finding ways to come back from adversity.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to encourage self-nurturing and to “give the planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.”

August 2, 2022 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags: ,

On Monday morning a light rain was falling, so I chose a rainy-day image for the art display that hangs on a wall of my dining room. The weather forecast on my phone was predicting more rain later.

Photo of leafy green trees on a rainy day.

As the day went on, however, the sky cleared. By late afternoon, it was sunny and warm. I went rowing with my husband, taking it easy and just relaxing.

The rainy-day picture was an obvious mismatch when we sat down to dinner. I thought about displaying a sunnier view, but by then it was already late in the day, so there didn’t seem to be much reason to look for a different image.

“I’m glad you didn’t change the picture. That’s my favorite kind of rain.” My seven-year-old younger self, Ponch, peeked out of my subconscious to comment. She was wearing her usual poncho, which covered most of a red-striped dress, and white knee socks with penny loafers.

“Hi Ponch.” I glanced back at the picture. “What do you like about it?”

“My favorite rain is when it’s just sprinkling a little, so you can walk around and feel the rain on your face, but it’s not so much that Mom says to come back inside and put on a raincoat.”

“I have a raincoat for rowing. Mostly I don’t wear it, though, because I would be too hot, so I just go out without it and get wet.”

“Well, you’re grown up and nobody makes you wear it.” Ponch sounded just a bit envious. “Your boat looks like it would be fun. Maybe I can row it sometime?”

“It’s too big for kids your age.” I smiled. “But I am a future you, so I can promise that you’ll have plenty of time to row it when you are older.”