Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It's All About Rowing

This week my life is all about rowing. I belong to two rowing clubs. One I row out of for fun. The other, which I'm much more involved in, being a Board member and all, I also row for fun, but also to compete. This club had its first practice on Saturday. We'll row through our last regatta, which is the first weekend in November. We practice three days a week. But this week there is more. As a way of introducing our new members to the sport, we hold a two week rowing camp. That started last week. Experienced rowers go out with the new members. This lets the new members see how things are done not only on the water, but for things like getting the shells in and out of the boathouse safely, setting up the Coaches's launches, getting the oars, etc. The experienced rowers not only demonstrate the stroke out on the water, but they're also there to hold or set the boat while the new members learn how to row. We've found over the years that this method really gives our new members a jump start plus it makes it a lot less frustrating for the new members. They effort goes to learning the rowing stroke and not floundering with a boat that can flop from side to side if not balanced properly. So regular practice and the rowing camp overlap this week so I rowed on Saturday and Monday and I will row Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I might try and slip out for a row in a single on Friday, but we'll have to see. This is Ann's least favorite week of the year. During the week with practice, I don't normally get home until 8:30PM. Its hard planning for dinners around that and I appreciate her patience.

Our first practice on Saturday was a bit ragged as one would expect. Practices are split bewteen the competitive women, competive men and recreational rowers. The competitive men constitutes the smallest group of the club. Saturday was really about beginning to shake off the cobwebs since we last rowed and give our coach a chance to evaluate the group as a whole. Some have kept in shape over the winter and spring and some have not. Some have access to boats and have been rowing all spring and others have not. Some have rowed in high school and college and most of us have not. Most of our group are returning from last year so things should move along pretty quickly. Our first race, the Capital Sprints, is in about 40 days. Most other clubs have already been practicing for 90 days so we're definately behind.

Sometimes karma has a way fo coming along and kicking your butt. About two weeks ago The Son made a run to the grocery store to purchase some things. Upon his return he couldn't find his wallet. A search of his room and the rest of the house plus his car didn't turn up the missing wallet. He called the store and they had it. Apparently he left it at the checkout. Ann and I gave him grief about it, of course. Its not the first time he'd left his wallet someplace. Fast forward to last week and our trip to Tim's. The Son had agreed to pay for dinner since it was his Mom's birthday. Since we had to wait for a table, I paid for a round of drinks and used my credit card. It was silly crowded and I didn't have a seat at the bar. I was reaching between two seated patrons to pay, balance drinks, sign the check while Daughter#1 was telling me to hurry since we had been called for our table. Fast forward again to this past Friday and we were out for lunch eating BBQ. When the bill came I reached in my wallet and no credit card. Ooops. We did the search the house thing again once we got home and no credit card. The last time I remembered using it was at Tim's so I called them figuring there was no way in hell they would have it. Turns out they did. Amazing. So we returned to Tim's on Saturday for another dinner and to pick up my credit card. We had great seats right on the water and The Son did the minor celebrity thing as our waistress, again, was a sister of one of his friends he known since elementary school. It never ceases to amaze me how many people know him since it seems to me he's always spent most of his time in his room playing computer games. I guess not.

Sunday it rained all day. I had to get up early to take The Son to Dulles for another business trip. He's down in the Florida panhandle this week and he'll be back on Friday. His return flight gets in 11:30 at night. Thats past my bedtime.

Monday Ann and I missed our vanpool. We're suppose to meet it at 4:45. They'll wait 5 additional minutes if you're running late. We were and pulled in the commuter lot about a minute after they had left. The car we were in was not the one with the base sticker to get us on base so we would have had to go home, switch cars and drive in on our own. We decided to say the hell with that and work from home instead. Our bosses were very generous and granted us permission. Sure beats the long drive, especially coming home and not being able to use the express lanes.

Ok time to go change into my spandex rowing shorts before the ride home. I'll leave you with that visual.

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