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Posts Tagged ‘weights’

It was a while into my appointment before I came clean. I was having my shoulder looked at, having injured it lifting some bad-ass weights which were, frankly, too heavy for me (I’d been showing off; I can’t deny it).

Finally I came out with it. “I’m… a rower”.

“Ah”, said the osteopath. “And how long have you been rowing?”

“Two years”, I admitted.

“Aha. Right. Yes,” said the osteopath, with a look that conveyed deep understanding.

I braced myself for the usual lecture on overdoing things. Instead, she looked at me intently.

“Listen”, she said. “If you couldn’t take a lot of pain, you wouldn’t have stuck with rowing for two years. You empty your legs at the beginning of the race, and then it’s just sheer pain. If you’re used to that level of pain, it can be hard to distinguish between ordinary pain and pain from an injury”, she went on.

So, are we rowers our own worst enemies? Is our tolerance to pain often masking the beginnings of an injury? Is that why so many of my rowing friends are nursing different ailments?

Whatever. For someone who’s always considered herself a bit of a wimp, I came away feeling pretty damned hard.

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Forgive me for being indelicate, but I can’t help noticing that with the head season nearly upon us, there’s rather a lot of testosterone in the air.

The gentlemen of the rowing world seem to be greeting the prospect of long ergs and distance rows with more than their share of grunting and posturing. The internet rowing world is full of “bring it ons” and “grrrs” and detailed accounts of erg sessions and kilos lifted.

Impressive though it is, I’m not altogether sure whose benefit it’s for. Perhaps it’s designed to unnerve the opposition. Perhaps it’s a misjudged mating ritual. Or maybe it’s simply a way of mentally shifting up a gear. Either way I find it kind of sweet, in the same way that I view my (small, male) dog’s noisy attempts to frighten the postman.

Meanwhile the fairer (and in many ways stronger) sex are going about the seasonal change in a more methodical way. Meetings are in the diary. Schedules are being drawn up. And, behind the scenes, quietly, the ergs are whirring into action again (though to my shame I discovered a tell-tale cobweb on mine this morning).

It doesn’t mean we’re less enthusiastic about the heads ahead. After all the noise and splashing and stress of the regatta season, I’ll be quite glad of the heads-down, no-nonsense nature of the long haul. There is, after all, more to take away from a head than the silverware. Even if you’re not first in your class, you’ve got a time to work on and to compare with last time and next time. And I can’t say I’ll really miss the adrenaline rush of the racing start.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I have to go and get cracking on my evening’s workout. That’s an hour long erg at 1:53, followed by some weights and then a giant steak. Grrrrr. Bring it ON!!!

Just kidding. I’m really off to make a cup of tea.

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