I showed up for practice at 7:30 a.m. (after getting lost, of course, since the boathouse is on a different river and there was no street sign...) and was a little disappointed to find that only 3 girls showed up to the workout. Figures. (Despite that, the coach expects us to have eight women for the regatta in DC next month... the others said they'd race, but couldn't make the practice. Whatever, lazy bitches...)
But luckily we had enough rowers in total to take out two eights. I, of course, was the shortest person in the boat, but this wasn't surprising, since it was that way for me throughout college. The coach put me at 7 seat, which made me a little nervous because that meant I'd be the stroke for the Starboard side. Like I'd said, I hadn't been in a boat in almost 3 years. (Ergging does not count at all) But that had been my position in college, as well as bow seat, so I figured it wouldn't take me long to get into the swing of it.
Wow. From the moment we shoved off the dock it was like I'd never stopped rowing. I couldn't believe how incredible it felt to be back on the water.
"Stern 4, pick drill, arms only," the coach called. "Ready... row!"
Plop! Plop! Plop! Even the pick drill felt awesome.
But when we finally got to row all eight, I thought I'd faint. It was just SO amazing to me how much I'd really missed rowing.
We rowed for about an hour, doing mostly drills to get a feel for the line-up and let the coach see what we all could do. Truthfully, the boat felt okay at all eight, but it was pretty rough at times. The bow four were a disaster. I have a feeling they were mostly novices.
Not to mention our cox'n was a 12 year old boy, literally. (I think the program is hard up on cox'ns) He was brutal. He crashed us into the other boat twice and sent us into the shore halfway through practice.
When we got back out into the middle of the river after our little detour into the weeds, we found the other boat waiting for us. There were fluffs of white dandelions floating lazily through the air.
The cox'n in the other boat said to us as we drifted along side, "We were just sitting here waiting for you, blowing dandelions."
In true gay boy fashion, the guy in stroke seat said sarcastically, "Is that all?"
I started laughing. The team was pretty great, though I never figured out who the lazy fag from yesterday was. I'm sure I will soon enough.
When practice was over the coach came up to me and the 3 others who were in stern 4. "You guys were GREAT!" he said. "It's really obvious you all are very strong and skilled. This is going to be a great race, once we get the final line-ups set." Then he muttered, "though I don't know what the hell was going on in bow four. Yikes."
Heh heh heh. I'm still VERY competitive, so I smirked a little. I was just plain excited to get back in the boat, but to receive compliments like that on the first day made me happy. Especially because I know my form and strength are WAY much more than they were when I was in college. Kinda makes me sad, in a way. So I feel like this is my second chance to be good at Crew.
So, team meeting / dinner is Monday, then we'll work out the rest of the practice schedule. But WHEEEEEEEEE! I'm a rower again!
And my ass hurts.