Following a very rough start in July, I capped off the month with the very best sculling I’ve ever done yesterday during a 20K steady state workout on an incredibly calm, glassy day on the Potomac. I’ve finally submitted myself to near-complete relaxation (and less intensity) to yield a relaxed smooth stroke. This goes against the grain for me because I’m a nose-tackle at heart and progress for me has always looked like explosive disruption. Literally every day of rowing, coupled with great coaching, is an evolution for me. I’ve only been in a racing scull for a month now, but I’ve come along way with the coaching efforts of Reilly Dampeer, Sam Stitt, Paul Guthrie and Guennadi Bratichko. Yesterday saw, Reilly’s instruction on stroke sequencing, Sam’s advice to be in the moment, and Guennadi’s advice on timing all came together on the very same day!
Guennadi’s feedback yesterday, was “you look like a real rower” and “I wish had a video camera to capture this moment”. Hopefully the moment stays with me, as I try to recreate this feeling on Monday. Its a feeling of stability in the boat, effortless stroke length, and allowing the boat to run through the recovery.
I began July racing for the first time ever in novice heats at the Independence Day Regatta in Philadelphia and at Capital Sprints. Racing was an ugly and frustrating experience, but I learned a great deal from it. First, I experienced how easily I can throw out all of the coaching advice the second the gun goes off. Second, I realized how long of a journey I have to make. Knowing I most likely have a minute plus erg advantage on the competition, I must have been real horrible during the races finishing in the middle of the pack. This tells me that I had the poorest technique out there.
Now let’s see how much further I can develop in August and September before my next race, Head of the Potomac.