Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Because my ass is huge, that's why.

This morning, we rowed the white quad.

I hate the white quad.

Normally, I'm not fussy about my equipment - if nothing else, half the time I haven't been rowing long enough to know any better, so I just take the oar/boat/erg that I'm given & roll with it.

Then there's the white quad.

Lemme 'splain. Most girls that do crew tend to be tall. Why? because the sport works better that way. Now, taller girls = wider hips. Even the skinniest tall girl can't get around the proportional width of her hip bones. Bone is bone, people - you can't get any narrower. So women's boats are cut a little wider to allow for that.

Men's boats....aren't.

The white quad is a men's boat. But it's light as a feather, so the guys & the lightweights tend to row it, & us girls with hips row the black quad, aka Lola. I love Lola. Much like her name would suggest, Lola's a buxom kinda gal that's pretty much down for whatever you throw at her. I was actually looking forward to rowing the old girl this morning.

But, there were novices in the boathouse, and they needed the more stable boat, so we got switched. I'd avoided rowing the white quad for, oh, about six months since we got it, because I had a theory which was proven this morning:

My ass is too big for the freakin' boat.

I got about halfway up the slide & the bolts for the rigging stopped my pelvis like I'd hit a wall. Which is to say, "ow". Moved my feet back in the line, and now I could get to a whopping 3/4 slide. You know what that's like? That's like trying to do a squat with about 100lbs across your shoulders, but you have to stop about halfway down and count to 10 before you can move back up. Now do that for an hour & a half. Now add pressure. And some more pressure. And slow your slide because you've got 25% less room than everyone else in the boat whose hips actually fit and can go to full slide. I got to the end of the row, & I couldn't feel my quads.

I'm seriously beginning to think that the reasoning "I haven't been rowing long enough to know any better" is why I end up in all the "special" seats that my coach has for me. I mean, yes, it's really great that I can row both sides and scull and manage a single on my own and bow a quad and erg with The Big Kids, because hey! I'm flexible! I can be put in any boat! and when there's a novice in 2 seat who hasn't been rowing long enough to know how to hold up the starboard side I'm the one that sits the next starboard up & ends up helping to bow the boat from 4 seat! (Yeah, R.S. Monkey, that's why you & Beavis could clear the water on the square on Sat)

Intellectually, I know that this will make me a better rower, and these are good opportunities, and in the long run, it's a good thing. But seriously, there are days, man. Times you get off the water & are so frustrated you just kind of want to cry. I sat down in my coach-assigned erg to do my 1k test yesterday - on the right was a former world record holder, on the left was a former member of the under-23 Nationals team - and my brain went, "Oh, come on - no fair!"
(Which also brings us to the lesson that one should never admit to the coach that you've been using the erg tests to help your issue with matching others' timing, because while most people run a 1k at a 28-32 on an erg, you'll end up next to the person that does it at a 35.)

So to sum up - I feel slow on an erg, discombobulated in my stroke, my quads hurt, and my ass is too damn big to fit in a boat, so to top it all off - I'm fat! I swear, it's like the equivalent of rowing PMS. I dunno. I'm probably just tired, and this too will pass. If nothing else, they released the schedule for fall races, & basically we'll racing every weekend from the 25th of Oct through the 15th of November... I'm not even counting the Charles boat, because I highly doubt I'll make that cut. My goal for the Head of the Charles training is just to make it through the 6k test on Tuesday with a split under 2:00/500m. I don't even expect to make the boat, I'm just trying to survive the training...

...meanwhile, in a true testament to how sick the Cult of Crew is, in thinking about going back east for Christmas, the thought occurred to me that I should see if there's anywhere that I could get a guest row while I'm in NH since the Christmas regatta & the Jan Long Beach races would be right before & after the holidays. I may or may not have googled "Rowing in New Hampshire", discovered there's a club right on the Merrimack River, & sent the link to my sister who's going to come watch a practice when she visits for a weekend at the end of Sept. Because my fat ass is sick that way.

Also, should I end up going back to Seattle, I'll have to make sure that I avoid The Killer Raccoons that lawgeekgurl warned us about.


At 11:26 AM, Blogger R.S. Monkey said...

And I thought I had issues this morning what with getting a point and powering up and all. are NOT fat! As Boyfriend's students put it you are PHAT - Pretty Hot And Tempting (or Tasty - you decide!)

Hehehe - love those middle schoolers.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger claris said...

Oh, G knew I was screwed. You'll notice he didn't really say that much to me. You know what one of his new things for me is lately? Getting just an eeench more compression... and then today I physically can't get past 3/4 slide. How's that for freakin' irony.

And bowing is easy. We'll show you the points one day like I did for Ann & SpecialK. I will say (and it's probably just because you're a starboard that doesn't scull as much) that you shouldn't be afraid to steer with both oars at once. When you're turning, just think about what you hear a coswain call in the sweep boat. If all of our turns are ports to back, starboards to row... well, we've got eight oars, we can use them all - it'll make the turns shorter. Scary is when you're in the boat with Louise, who backs & rows with both oars at the same time - that one took a couple tries to get the hang of...

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Megdalen said...

But, if you are only GUEST rowing on the Merrimack, I can't stand on the bank with encouraging singage and scream things like "GO CLARIS!! WOOHOO!!! YEAH BABY!" And you know I would. So PLEASE make the Charles race so I can come see you and cheer obnoxiously.


At 8:32 PM, Blogger claris said...

I'm a little scared of my cheering section should I make this boat. Seriously. :)


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