Fitness Magazine

Are All Rowers a Bit Mad? (or La Gente Está Muy Loca)

By Girlontheriver @girlontheriver

Sitting in a business meeting with my bleeding knuckles a scarlet accessory to my painted nails, I couldn’t help but question the sanity of a sport that inflicts so much pain and discomfort. So other sports might bring on a bit of stiffness and breathlessness, but few of them involve anything as hardcore as rowing, with its early starts, deep exhaustion, aching muscles, trackbites, blisters, grazed knuckles, vomit-inducing ergs and (gasp) broken fingernails. Are all rowers a bit mad? I think perhaps we must be.

It’s not just the pain, of course; it’s the way the sport takes over your life. I’ve already got rowing events in my diary that are over a year ahead and yes, I’ll be keeping those weekends free.

Even when I’m sleeping I don’t take a break. I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who’s undergone the torture of the rowing nightmare – the sort where you find yourself showing up for a race in the wrong kit, in a boat that’s barely seaworthy with weird blades and with your old headmistress coxing (oh wait, maybe that’s just me).

Asking around, most people I spoke to agreed that yes, rowers are certifiably mad.

You don’t need to be a bit crazy to be a rower,” said one fellow rower. “You need to be a *lot* crazy, both enthusiastic and insane”.

“I now take ‘mad’ as a compliment”, said another.

But before you order in a straitjacket, let me share an alternative view, from a self-confessed rowing addict named Angela.

“We are just ‘the next level’ of human being and need to give ourselves a bigger challenge than normal folk”, she said.

I like that. In fact I think I’m going to go with it. We rowers are not mad. We’re just more evolved. Beam me up.

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