Posts Tagged ‘coxing’

Son on the Run is having driving lessons, and what a learning experience it’s been for both of us. Although he is mercifully careful, I can’t deny we’ve had our moments… like on our first outing, when the automatic gate in an industrial estate unexpectedly began to close in on my little car as SotR struggled to put it into reverse (we escaped just in the nick of time before being crushed in its metallic embrace).

The whole experience improved beyond measure, though, when I had a lightbulb moment whilst coxing a few weeks ago. As I called out the commands in confident, encouraging tones (some say I have no need of a cox box), it occurred to me that my skills as a cox (dodgy steering aside) were just what was needed during Son’s early forays into driving.

And so began driving instruction, cox-stylee.

There’s that special, calm-yet-authoritative voice that you adopt when you’re intent on avoiding a collision (“harder on bow side… that’s right, MUCH harder on bow side right NOW…”) that is perfect for those moments when you’re longing to scream “BRAKE!!!” but don’t want to freak everyone out.

There’s that uniquely encouraging tone of voice employed when coxing novices (“Much better, yes, much, MUCH better… just try to keep in time there, two, OK, yes, just get BACK in time, then”) that comes in handy for those just-avoided-a-scrape moments.

And there’s a whole host of possibilities in the technical exercises. This week we’re going to try the driving equivalent of pause rowing to get to grips with stop-start driving in slow traffic. Next week we’ll have a go at half-slide driving, changing up from first to second to third and down again.

Seriously, it’s brilliant. If you have a learner driver in the family you really should try it. Probably best to avoid eyes shut driving, though…

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Since last week’s blogroll post, lots of you have been clicking away on their sites, so time to roll out another one.

First on this list is the fabulously named Rowing Is Awesome – well, how could I ignore a blog with a title like that? It’s full of rowing awesomeness, with some funny stuff, some inspiring stuff (the running clip made me go a bit teary) and some bits of general rowing interest. Go read: it’s awesome.

Now anyone who overlooks the importance of the cox is a fool, so my next blog up for  inspection is Adventure (In Coxing) Is Out There! by American cox, Alex Olijnyk. It’s always good to see life from the perspective of the 9th seat, so here it is. Coxes can be a bit scary sometimes, and I suspect Alex is no exception, but who could really be intimidated by someone who has a “puppy of the day” slot on their blog. Even if you’re not interested in coxing, check this one out if you like cute dogs.

Finally, as some of you (especially those of you who trained all summer for the Boston Marathon) sound like their week has a bit stressy, I’m going to suggest a visit to Everything Stress. Lots of great advice for anyone sitting with their shoulders hunched up at their computer (like me… hmmm…) If the tough guy rowers amongst you can refrain from laughing out loud at references to 30 minutes of exercise a day (if only), it’s full of useful thoughts and suggestions.

So there we have it. Your weekend reading lined up. Enjoy – but not so much that you never come back to GirlontheRiver.


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