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Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Ladies in the Boat

DARE TO DREAM - Two years ago, my Rowing BFF and I competed in our first rowing Regatta.  I was 49 and scared out of my mind.  Flash forward 8 seasons, countless meters, and many regattas later.  Today, Mrs. Mills and I are returning to the same regatta, with a bit more confidence and, oh yeah, we brought backup. We are at the fun and friendly Rockrimmon Regatta in Springfield, Massachusetts once again.  



Two years ago, it was just the two of us.  We rowed in a double and we were the only adults rowing for the Newburgh Rowing club.  We were recreational rowers but we were total novices when it came to racing.  What made us race?  We were tired of sitting on the sidelines and slinging hash while we watched our kids race.  We were ready to take the oars and start racing ourselves.

We overcame our fears, kept at it, and discovered we really do have a passion for Rowing. And today we are returning as the outside pair in a women's masters four man.  That means there are two other adults rowing  with us, and our coach will be our coxswain.  We have really come to understand the concept of bonding with and trusting the members of your boat. It's not just something that happens in high school.  We all had to learn a different kind of rowing (sweeping) to participate in this particular event.  We have discovered that when the four of us are together, it is indeed a party.  

We support each other and push each other.  The other night, we practiced for our race on the indoor rowing machines.  Marian, ever the optimist, did not even complain when I told everyone that we really should erg.  We did erg, a "broken 5K" and it was hotter than Hades.  I said to the ladies in my boat, "OK, I'm jumping in the Hudson River  afterwards who's with me??!!"  I was not the least bit surprised when everyone agreed to jump in.  I couldn't see without my glasses, so Maggie, the youngest in our boat, had to escort me down the dock like I was her grandma.  I was so hot I forgot about the holding hands part and just ran off the dock and jumped in the river.  Maggie pulled me back out so we could try this one more time!

The four of us held hands on the edge of the dock while our coach took a video.  We looked at the river for a few minutes, with a little bit of hesitation.  I know we were all contemplating the same thing. Sewage, pollution, bacteria. But at the end of the day, friendship won out.  Together, we held hands, took a deep breath and jumped into the river together.  It was totally refreshing, both literally and figuratively.  

And really, what more can you ask for than  friends who will jump in the River with you??  And Row all year with you, drive with you all over the Northeast, lend you a precious 7/16 wrench, and text you all day to make sure you get down to practice.  Yes, Rowing has made us physically fit and has challenged us in ways that we never thought we could overcome.  But most of all, we have created something.  We have created a boat.  

We are the ladies in the boat, and today we are going to Springfield to row our race.  It's a 5K, which is no joke in the sport of Rowing, so wish us luck!! Keep challenging yourself and no matter what it is, never give up on your dreams! 💛 Mrs. Lo