Posts Tagged ‘strength’

I’ve always known that being vertically challenged is a disadvantage in rowing. Thankfully up until now no one has made a big deal of it, but I can’t help noticing that my height – or lack of it – has been the subject of rather too many conversations for my liking in the last week or so.

It started last weekend, when an otherwise delightful club member stated that I was “teeny tiny – the smallest person in the world”. I laughed along, hoping that it was just a one-off, and promptly forgot all about it.

Until yesterday, that is. I was talking to a rower I’d not met before, when he said that he probably just hadn’t noticed me. “You’re so small you’re practically invisible”, he hooted.

Now this is all highly entertaining, but the truth is it’s  not good news for me. If you’re trying to be taken seriously as a rower, you really don’t want your USP to be your diminutive stature. Even if you’re the bow monkey.

So I’ve decided that there’s nothing for it. I shall just have to become taller. Now obviously – short of going on the rack – I can’t actually increase my height, so instead I have hatched a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel. I shall simply fool my shipmates into believing I’m taller than I am.

Possibly the most beautiful shoes in the world

Operation Sultan (named after Sultan Kösen, the tallest living person in the world) begins this Friday at the dinner dance, when I shall be rocking these five inch babies:

Wearing these thoroughly desirable examples of footwear fabulousness I shall instantly shoot up to a respectable 5’9″ (175 cm for my American readers). Job done.

But what about the morning after? I surely can’t wear my killer heels down at the rowing club. Especially now that we’re all splashing around in wellies.

Thankfully, Louis Vuitton (who else?) has come up with the solution. Allow me to introduce you to the revolutionary concept of the high-heeled welly.

I'm sure no one will notice the difference

Armed with these instant height-enhancers, I’m convinced everyone will be fooled. It’s only a matter of time before I move from bow monkey to engine room powerhouse.

Now if I could just find some shoes to improve my erg scores…

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“You are soooo competitive”, gasped my friend on the next mat, as she watched me furiously attacking another set of press-ups as though my life depended on it (not, incidentally, those half-hearted, knees-down, girlie excuses for press-ups known in boot camp as “wuss-ups”; we’re talking proper, boys’ press-ups here).

Now there’s no denying that I am ridiculously competitive (and more about this in a later post). Even when my muscles are screaming, I won’t stop if I know that someone else is still going. But I realised last night that there was more to it than that.

Ever since I came out as a rower (and the Godfrey shorts and Monmouth RC hoodie are a bit of a give-away, no doubt about it), I have felt that in some small way I am representing the rowing massive. So I may be small and slight, and sometimes I have to stop when I’m about to faint (low blood pressure and burpees are a lethal combination), but if I give up, what does that say about me as a rower? I have to keep going, because that is what rowers do.

So I may be aching all over today in places I didn’t even know I had muscles, but I can console myself that I did it for all you rowers out there. I hope y’all appreciate it.


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