When I was still a competitive athlete I recall seeing two retired rowers using the rowing machine, called ergometres, and wondering why? You’ve spent years on that thing and now you have a choice on what you do to stay in shape. Why go back to the torture machine.
When asked why they still used the rowing machine the reply was: it’s still a great workout. They both ran but said the ergometre gave them the upper body workout they were missing. I swore when I retired I’d never get on that machine again.
It is a great workout. Sure, my results are nothing close to me back in the day but it keeps my back in shape and my arms toned. I’ve included it in workouts here and there over the years and enjoyed it.
When I started Crossfit I was excited to see rowing machines stacked in the corner. Cool. Something I knew I would be decent at from the start. Everything else, pull-ups, chest to deck push ups and Sumo Deadlift High Pulls, has been a challenge to learn. Fun but still a challenge.
Every time we use the rowing machines in a workout I have some flashback to my rowing days, some particularly grueling workout, maybe the one where it snowed and my t-shirt froze in a wing that my arm kept hitting. Or I think about the best moments: rowing through the Americans right near the finish line of the 2003 Head of the Charles in Boston. The silence from the USA partisan crowds lining the river banks was deafening. The sheer joy coursing through the eight other women in the boat with me was palpable even if it was respectfully as silent as the crowd (polite Canadians to the bitter end).
I kept just a shoe box of rowing mementos. My last Canada racing suit, most of my international medals, two NCAA champion watches, one NCAA champion stand up plaque thing and my medal and Steward’s enclosure pin from the 2003 Royal Henley.
Should I need to take a trip down memory lane I am still unlikely to open the mementos box. I’ll call up one of the amazing women I trained and raced with and catch up and reminisce. Or I’ll go do a workout on the rowing machine.
Having trouble breaking up with your mementos? Faith Janes at Minimalist Moms talks about the sentimental sabotage of clutter and gives you steps to break up. Check out Simple. Organized. Life for another how to on minimalism and mementos. Read about The Single Supplements memento declutter with friends and her own stuff.