Approaching the halfway point, lactic acids burn the muscles, and the mind is advising the body to stop putting forth so much energy: “You need to conserve it, for later….” Having trained to be at the peak of one’s bodily physique, conserving energy is not a priority. And in the mind of a true rower, there is always more will to push the self.
One may question why people subject themselves to new age, strenuous work? Multiple answers can reply this question, but mine is that rowing makes me happy. It makes me happy because I am capable of doing many more things, and not just because of physical strength.
When I strap my feet into a boat, the simplest part of rowing is accomplished. After, comes the perfection of technique and the strain to finish a race, and to do that well. Mentality during a row is the most important thing. Following a set beat of putting a blade into the water and taking it out over and over seems boring and repetitive to the uninformed spectator, but those blades are pulling tons in weight through the water by human engines. When the point of a race is to win, there is always thought for fuel to keep going on every stroke.
Inspiration comes with the finish of every stroke. In my mind, I had thought that to take that next stroke would be the impossible, yet when it happens, I know it is possible. Endurance must stay in mind to help finish a race while keeping proper form and speed. This is not to say that all things seem easier when compared to rowing, but that to keep going is best.
Science proves chemicals known as endorphins are released after exercise, and those can make people happy. I find this exercise as the best way to satiate myself with those endorphins. Before I began to row, I would find myself sitting idly and absorbing myself in the TV, rather than going outside and enjoying that world with enthusiasm. Idleness is now one of the things that irks me most. When I train, I know things are progressing. My body improves in strength and endurance, and as it does, my boat progresses.
My boat is not just fiberglass and plastic parts, but also several other rowers and a coxswain. I owe them and myself to keep going until the task is done, because of the fifteen hours a week we dedicate to learn how to win. To me, rowing is much like the world it happens in; a violent, peaceful, organized thing that requires the will to go on. Adrenaline kicks in during the sprint to the finish, and that joy is my harvest. So while the point of existence is still unclear to most people and myself, I do believe that sitting idly is not the point, but that whatever your hands are lain upon should be done with might and enjoyment.
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