Just over 2 years ago, at a NavyFit event I stumbled across the rapidly growing sport of Indoor Rowing. It turned out that like most Rugby players, I had the ideal build and stamina for it and through the Navy and the coaching of Paul Winton I went on to compete in the Mens Open 2K races at the English, Welsh and British Indoor Rowing Championships. Racing the British Champs, I was lucky enough to race against the GB rowing team and get a PB. That PB was 30 seconds behind the winner but it was still enough to put me 13th overall. Whilst it required a very different type of fitness and effort than I was used to and to what the HMS Oardacious team ahead, the dedication and commitment to training was still comparable to what we’re facing over the next year.
I would be lying if I said I look forward to getting back to the 5am rows, squeezing gym sessions into lunch breaks and carefully managing everything I eat in preparation for the event. The opposite is true of the race however. I can’t wait for my first stint on the oars after leaving La Gomera with no idea what the following journey has in store.
As we mentioned last week, Hugo, Dylan and I managed to attend the Navy Indoor Rowing Championships as my opportunity to introduce them both to the sport and put a competitive edge to the many hours we will be spending on the Ergs over the next 12 months.
We were very lucky that Paul Winton and the RNRM Rowing Association were generous enough to let us use the event as a PR launch for our website and social media campaign. Ever since I have been involved, the annual event has brought together all ranges of competitors from the hardened veterans looking to kick of their competition season to the brand new guys getting their first experience of competitive racing. The respect and support each of the racers show for each other be it competitive training partners or first time acquaintances demonstrates how positive and rewarding the sport can be. Taking what seems an entirely solo and introverted sport and turning it into a team orientated social environment.
I was fortunate enough to come away from the event with a bronze in the Mens Open 500m which – due to putting Rugby before rowing for a few months - was 82 seconds of pain, as can be seen by the faces pulled.
Thanks again to everyone who came to the event, to Paul and the RNRM Rowing Association (you can follow them on twitter at @NavyRowing) and to Andy for putting this video together.
Until next time!