geek socialization, the one-boat regatta, & editing outside Rower World

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because dude, it’s so true.
Every so often, one of the kids I used to coach will make a joke about how much I’m online, & I just don’t know how to explain my friends to them, so I end up sounding odd & nerdy. (which, really… who are we kidding, I totally am.) However, this graphic pretty much sums us up.

snagged from Loki over at The Circle K…


I drove for two days, & all I got was my very own boat!
This was indeed, my weekend to pick up the new (to me) boat, which meant driving about… 250 miles over two days altogether. I realize that I know guys who run crew teams & drive that with big-ass trailers that dwarf what I did moving the one single, but… ugh. That kind of stuff is why, way back in the when I once told Salter, “Dude, I have no desire to ever be a head coach of anything. I’m perfectly happy being an assistant.”

Had practice at LB!Boathouse both days, so each morning meant driving down there first. Sat morning after practice, I drove out to Helen’s place to borrow her roof rack. Thankfully, the claim made by my car dealer when I got Zoom-Zoom held true — it really is made for sporty geeks & thus has not only the capacity for an electrical outlet so I can charge my laptop while driving, but the carrying capacity that when I fold down the seats, the rack fit inside my car & I could close the trunk.

Side note: the record for things we could fit in my car are: a full set of sweep oars, 4 sets of sculling oars, some rigging, our gym bags, and a lightweight in the front seat. It’s almost like a partridge in a pear tree, but lightweights spend way more time thinking about food.

One of the other great things about Helen’s house (besides Helen) is the view. it goes her yard, a drop, & then ocean. And because Helen is Helen, I drove away with not only a roof rack, but literally had a box full of wildflowers tucked in front of my passenger seat.

Sunday morning, I had to stop at Elena’s house before practice & switch up cars since her Jeep has a roof rack to attach the other roof rack to, & I haven’t put one on Zoom-Zoom yet. Practice done, SUV to drive, I headed back up to Bear!Boathouse to find the place… completely deserted of any rowers.

Effing wind. The boys’ team were theoretically supposed to be there, & I’d figured I would employ them for free child labor to get things loaded up quickly, but alas, the whitecaps in the marina were such that everyone just erg’d & went home before I got there at 9:30.

So, based on the one time Webster had sort of shown me how things go about two years ago, I went ahead & loaded everything up on the roof, tied it all down as seemed logical… and then spent half an hour figuring out how to make the remaining singles fit in their slings that hang from the ceiling of the bay since that I’d removed a piece from the boathouse Jenga & the much larger 1x underneath the old spot now had to move up.
(JTG, who I bought my 1x from, is about 6′. Webster, whose boat went into the now-empty spot, is 6’7″. Boats sizes are (or should be) proportional to their rower’s height, so that kinda makes a difference in how things fit.

Drove back down to LB!Boathouse, got the 1x re-rigged & up in its new home in the bay, took the whole roof contraption apart, brought the Jeep back to Elena, drove the roof rack back to Helen, finally got home around… 3:30pm & was just freakin’ d-u-n done. I felt like I’d just done a whole regatta day, & it was only the one boat. But the part where I slept for five hours & then was up all night afterwards was actually pretty productive, even if Zoey wasn’t nearly as enamoured of the resultant bathtime as Ernie.

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If this is the universe’s way of telling me I should have rowed in college, it is in no way helpful in terms of viable racing.
So, I’ve pretty much been rowing a 1x for the last… eh, year or so since my old team got shut down. Almost everyone in CoachIan’s group is a lightweight, so it’s hard to boat me in a lineup – it’s not a speed thing, it’s just that in terms of viable racing lineups, I just don’t physiologically fit.

However, just joining us for the summer is ‘berto, on summer break from college. Since he’s not quite back up to snuff on sculling yet, he took one look at the chop in the stadium & was all, “Hey, wanna row a double?”

Turned out to be a great idea. ‘berto actually likes to bow, which was fine because not having to steer was like luxury for me. So awesome. Some of it was a little rough — he hasn’t sculled in a while, & I’ve been sculling by myself for a long time, so I’d get to the catch & with someone else’s balance affecting the boat the water wasn’t always where I’m used to having it be — but in terms of overall power & boat… not bad. Especially since the pieces we do on Sundays are way more tolerable in a 2x than a 1x.

We got to the end of the first set of pieces, & I looked over my shoulder at ‘berto & said, “Hello, new Sunday doubles partner!” to which he replied, “Yeah, I think so!”

The problem being that he’s a 20 year old college kid still under NCAA rules & I’m a 31-year old masters’ rower, so the only thing we could race would be an open mixed 2x, & I don’t know if anyone even has that as a category, so I need to look into it — but even just for workouts, I think it’s a nice change of pace for both of us.

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Our lives are different than other people’s.
The thing about rowing is that, much like the Bronze, it really is its own world with its own way of doing & being, & when you’re in it, you tend to forget that the rest of the world isn’t in it as well. We were joking about that at breakfast Sat am in reference to the fact that Rachel got comments regarding her arm muscles, & I commiserated that indeed, I’d gone into Starbucks & had the guy behind the counter inquire if he could arm wrestle me.

But the thing is that, for us, your workout is your workout & it’s just a part of your day that you do no matter what day it is. That in mind, I’d signed up for the 6:15am spin at Venice!Studio yesterday morning, not thinking about the fact that it was Memorial Day. Since I’d been up most of the night doing random acts of cleaning & laundry & then went over to Kinko’s to finish up a project so Z would have it for the banquet that night, I just kept going & showed up at class.

…and realized I was the only one there. huh.

Seems that 3 of us had signed up, & I was the only one to show. The instructor & I waited until the start time, & he gave me the choice of doing the class just one on one, but I demurred & was like, “Dude, I used to do your job, it’s not worth the fuss. Don’t worry about it.”

In the course of that convo, he asked what I was in training for, & I replied, “Oh, I’m not really in training for anything — I’m just a rower, it’s what we do.” Technically, I suppose I’m in training for SW Regionals, but it’s not like I’m going to British Henley or anything – it’s just kind of in the schedule no matter what.

The Thursday before, I’d been talking with another instructor Gina re: athlete laundry.
(If you are not someone that’s in training or works out regularly, trust me when I tell you that in terms of most people’s everyday lives there is no laundry whose stench is more likely to strip the hairs from inside your nose or put you at risk of going blind than Monday’s workout clothes when you pull them from the bottom of the hamper to do laundry on Saturday. #omgIjustcanteventellyou)

In the course of it, I was like, “Yeah, you guys are my double days, & I swear some of my spandex can walk on its own by the end of the week.”
She just kinda stopped & looked at me funny, and someone pointed out to me later that, for the rest of the world, a spin class IS their workout, not their secondary cross training.

Conclusion: Really gotta remember to edit a lil’ more when I’m not in Rower World.

Today’s Sing-a-long Song
And on a note of complete randomosity, I give you the Two Man Gentleman Band because that’s what just showed up on my random shuffle. Ladies & Gentlemen, Andy Bean — the valedictorian speaker of my high school class putting his Masters’ in Mathematics to use for musical lechery. (listen to the lyrics carefully)

(Tip: if you start listening to other songs, make sure you’ve got headphones & not speakers going when you check out the Hindenberg song, lest your co-workers get worried by all the screaming.)

Music: Prime Numbers – Two Man Gentleman Band The Two Man Gentlemen Band

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  • Kate

    BOAT! BOAT BOAT BOATY BOAT BOAT. That’s SO exciting!

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