You know the rest. Earlier this fall I visited the Asheville Rowing Club to see if they were as merry as the song suggests. I met them at their magnificent new boathouse on Lake Julian, I watched them outfit their new boat and then I took to the water with Bob, their stand-in “coach” for the night. Bob is a member of the Rowing Club recently sidelined by a hip injury (he later told me that he is currently in rehab with a Mission Sports Medicine Physical Therapist). During this practice he drove the launch, a motorboat that follows the boat as it traverses the lake. From the launch he can provide support and give feedback to the rowers.
While we were motoring along, watching the eight person sweep boat move effortlessly across the lake at top speed, I asked Bob a slew of questions like: is it a paddle or an oar? (oar); what’s the difference between rowing with one or two oars per rower? (the former is called a sweep, the latter sculling); and how big a percentage does the upper-body contribute to the stroke power? (very little, maybe 10 percent). “So Bob… I have a lot to learn. Where would I go if I wanted to get into rowing?” Thankfully Bob is a patient man. So he says: “You should really try out our Learn to Row Program”. Turns out they offer a class for rookies just like me. And according to Bob, rowing is the perfect “lifetime” sport. It’s a total-body workout that involves strength and cardiovascular fitness, and it is virtually no-impact. He didn’t even pick up an oar until he was in his sixties, but he plans on rowing for many years to come.
As for me, I think that maybe rowing could be my lifetime sport too. Because as we followed these graceful athletes across the lake with a warm wind at our backs, the water lapping at the sides of the boat and the sun beginning to set over the lake, I thought to myself: Life is but a dream.Watch the video on YouTube Music is by Asheville band Josh Phillips Folk Festival
Mission Sports Medicine specializes in the treatment of all ages, levels and sports, providing care that includes prevention, education, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Call 888-798-4144 twenty-four hours a day to be referred to one of the Mission Sports Medicine Program clinics located throughout Western North Carolina.