This week, my rowing BFF and I got our hands on our new sculling oars. Behold their beauty! We paid a lot of money for them. They were handcrafted (okay refurbished) by a skilled Italian artisan (Okay, Coach Maurice). We waited and waited for them to arrive. We couldn’t wait to try them on. Then we made sure to wipe them down and clean them until the next time we used them. This is reminiscent of the way I used to feel (gulp) about shoes.
OK, I admit it. I have traded in my Louboutins for used sculling oars. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a closet full of Louboutins, Manolos and Jimmy Choos. I’m saving them in case we need to make a down payment on a condo in Florida someday. I guess you could say my shoe obsession has become a crew obsession.
But there is still that part of me that misses the days when I would walk into Neiman Marcus and buy clothes whose primary material was something other than spandex. And when I would shop for shoes not named after the fastest beings on earth (Puma, Nike).
We decided to start out with refurbished oars, although they were reconditioned by none other than our own super-talented Coach Maurice, right here at the Boathouse. The older I get, the more I realize how lucky we are to have a big Boathouse at the Newburgh Rowing Club. A significant part of what you need to know takes place inside the Boathouse. Rigging, adjusting, spacing, tinkering with pitch, knowing how to use tools. I’m talking about the kids. I have no idea how to use anything other than a 7/16 wrench, but the coaches do, and they really blinged out our oars beautifully for us. Frankie sanded down the blades and painted them black, then put on the blue Corsairs (pirate) logo on them.
But the last step will take place this weekend. We will each get our name inscribed on our oars. And we will get Hello Kitty logos. In a pirate hat, of course. Listen, I may not be buying the $1,500.00 shoes with the red soles anymore, but my Hello Kitty oars bring me so much more pleasure.
There may come a day when I once again care deeply about shoes with heels. When I start shopping at Neiman Marcus again, or at least somewhere other than Boathouse Sports. Right now, I have more important things on my mind: running a low cost swim club and a free water confidence program, so underserved kids in Newburgh know how to swim. Running the Student Ambassador program, to introduce and keep underserved youth in the sport of rowing. Making sure I remember Michael’s monthly lunch order (just one more lunch order and I’m done!) Making sure Christian has a healthy breakfast, lunch, Nutrabullet shake and enough stuff to add up to 75 grams of protein a day in the refrigerator by 5:00 am. Making sure everybody times their Netflix viewing so that I don’t have to upgrade my account (there are four people in my house, do we really need to be watching 4 different shows at the same time?!) Oh, and I want every rowing club on the Hudson River to go plastic free by the end of 2016. I guess you could say my priorities have changed.
Every time I bought a pair of Manolo’s, I swore to myself I would never trade them in for frumpy shoes. And I haven’t. I have traded them in for Hello Kitty oars. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s an upgrade.
Have a great day, everyone, and remember to Count Your Blessings! <3 Mrs. Lo www.LoBiondo.org (Photos by Emma Jendrejeski)