September 24, 2023

I credit Google, the pandemic, and my love of the water for my start in athletic rowing at age 57. After moving to Florida in the first months of the pandemic, I had to find an outdoor activity where I felt safe from COVID.

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I searched for “Orlando Robot” thinking I’d buy a small boat for outdoor exercise. Instead, Google GOOGLE,
Returned with “Orlando Rowing Club”. Hmm. I looked up their website, learned they offer private lessons for a reasonable fee, and decided this adventure was worth my while.

My coach told me that sailing could change my life. Most rowing clubs have members in their 50s, 60s and even 70s, so I don’t get old. So I got involved and found that Coach Laura was right. Rowing has improved my life on so many levels.

Rowing attracts media attention

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Ever since I joined the Orlando Rowing Club, I’ve seen rowers and rowing in pop culture. For example, the New York Times bestseller, “lessons in chemistry“Features two rovers.

George Clooney is currently directing “The Boys in the Boat,” a movie about a ragtag rowing crew’s unlikely victory at the 1936 Olympics. The TV series, “Jack Ryan,” references the main character’s rowing and features a crew boat in the opening sequence. Even the US Post Office offers stamps depicting women’s rowing.

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I now understand the appeal of a sport that is low impact on the body but high on its rewards.

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perks of rowing

there is a long list of benefits of rowing Worked out for me as I stuck with it. The immediate reward lies in being out in the sun on a lake. Often in line, I take a moment of peace, basking in the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze, and the beauty of the lake I’ve had the privilege of sailing on.

This moment of wonder brings me to the present and fills me with gratitude. I also enjoy the excitement of gliding through the water and the satisfaction of having the skill and acumen to keep my boat “shiny side down”.

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The oldest member of our club, Roseanne, a woman in her 70s, told me she started rowing after several indoor rowing sessions at the YMCA while staring at the walls. A poster on one wall showed a sleek, incredibly long and relatively narrow rowboat gliding gracefully across a lake.

She thought, “Now, this is where I want to be.” So she started the lesson and later took water for exercise.

In addition to being low-impact, rowing also reduces stress. harmonious and rhythmic nature The rowing stroke calms the body and mind, releasing tension.

I find it so meditative when rowing a quad (a boat for four rowers) that often, I go into a trance from the hypnotic rhythm of the stroke and almost forget to keep going.

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Another bonus appeared to be the workout provided in rowing. After a few months, a friend commented on my improved posture. This happened because of strong shoulders and core muscles.

I also lost the fat that made up my menopause, or menopausal belly. Fat gave way to muscle in my body. A neighbor commented on how lovely and fleshy my legs were. Am I being called muscular? What a victory!

Research shows that rowing provides both aerobic and strength training Exercise. The speed of taking the stroke does 85% of the work of your muscles. In addition, the sport provides cardiovascular benefits and increases muscle and bone mass. resistance Training.

Because you row while sitting safely, this sport appeals to people who struggle with joint or balance problems. In particular, I appreciate that my arthritic hands are not needed to perform any complex or strength-requiring movements. Instead, they act as clubbed mitts that cradle the handle of the oar. In addition, rowing engages the muscles of the upper back, which make spending a day Leaning on a computer screen.

While the physical benefits are measurable, rowing’s most valuable returns lie in the social aspect. Being a member of a club provides exercise as well as access to like-minded people. The connection and camaraderie I found through rowing helped keep my sanity when everyone else was in lockdown. The friendships I have made continue outside the club.

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There’s more than one way to line up

Before learning to row, understanding the two types of rowing can help you decide which is best for you. First, sweep rowing involves a crew of four to eight people (a pair is a sweep boat for two, but this is for advanced rowers).

Each rower controls one oar. To accommodate work schedules, sweep rowers meet at set times, often before dawn. Some clubs have afternoon/evening workout times. Sweep rowing lends itself to all the perks of being part of a team. Plus, you get coaching every time a coach rides along your boat in a motorized john boat.

Sculling is different because each rower has two sides and rows in a single, double or quad (four rowers). Once you have enough skill, many clubs allow you to row on your own schedule. You can also connect with other scholars.

For example, we have four women in our club who meet three mornings a week to row in a quad. They have been doing this for almost a decade. I have humbly substituted in his boat with nearly 80 years of rowing experience among them.

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how to get started

With over 1,300 rowing clubs across America, chances are you can find one near you. Search the US Rowing website for one club Or your city + “rowing club.”

Many clubs offer learn to row programs for beginners. You can also find rowing camps that offer intensives for new and continuing rowers.

For example, the Craftsbury Sculling Center in Vermont has a stellar reputation, as does the All-American Rowing Camp in Florida.

us rowing Oversees sports in the US. Their focus is mainly on competitive rowing, but they promote National Learn to Row Day every year in June; This year, it is on June 3.

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Plus, rowing clubs host events so you can learn about what the club has to offer. If the club closest to you doesn’t provide the best cultural fit for you, check out other clubs in your area. Two club members drive an hour or more to boat with us.

Rowing provides global connections

At the suggestion of a fellow rower, I joined the Facebook group Masters Rowing International, Adult sailors are called Masters. This social media group connects rowers around the world.

Regularly I see pictures of castles in India or Ireland, the Sydney Opera House, or sailors on the water. Topics run round – from stroke rate to blisters and calluses to techniques for improving speed.

People also post that they will be in London on a certain date: is there a club I can row a boat with? The sense of community I experience with other sailors broadens my worldview and provides a great sense of belonging.

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Maybe Your Inner Rover Is Waiting To Be Unearthed

While rowing is only for some, you will only know if you try. As with any activity, check with your doctor first. Whether it’s your milestone birthday this year or just want to try something new, I highly recommend rowing. While it doesn’t have the visibility of other sports, rowing is an activity that many people find worthy of their time.

To decide. You may find yourself on a journey that feeds your mind, body and soul.

Amy Holm Stamey is a writer and editor with a master’s degree from Medical University and an honorary doctorate for her own health advocacy. He found his life’s purpose in the collection and dissemination of information. Amy explores health, wellness, healing and adventure. She started rowing in 2020 and aims to make rowing accessible to more people. You can find it here:

This article has been reprinted with permission from©2023 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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