Hello strangers! It’s been a while. I needed to gather my thoughts and gather inspiration. It’s been nice to do my own thing without feeling the pressure of having to post on here. It’s been good and I’m hoping now’s the time for me to start writing again. I can’t make any promises on how regularly it will be because, I don’t want to force it but fingers crossed it’ll go a bit better this time around.
The reason I really wanted to write is that I really really want to share a bit about our marathon row at Crossfit Red Bluff. It’s been over two weeks since it happened now and wow, what a day it was for an important cause. In total we raised over 10 000 dollars for Polished Man. It just made it even more worthwhile knowing we in some way to contribute to making a change in the world.
When our coaches first mentioned we were going to do a marathon row in the gym my immediate reaction was no, it’s not going to happen! I had watched bits of the marathon row during this year’s Crossfit Games and it had taken some of the fittest athletes in the world around three hours to do. I couldn’t even imagine how long it would take me. It felt like it would put too much of a strain on my body and I was worried to hurt myself! When the coaches then said we could complete in teams of two or three I felt like that could be a good challenge. After some deliberation we decided to do it, originally Mich, Mim, Em and I were going to it as a four. However, our coaches really thought pairs would be the best way to make sure you really did push yourself outside your comfort zone. In the end we split the group in half, Mim and I paired up and Mich and Em paired up.
I was a bit nervous, Mim is an incredible rower and has years of competing in rowing under her belt. She would fly through it no problem. I had never done anything similar in my life and had no clue how my body was going to put up with all this rowing! But, it was a challenge and it’s good to push yourself to see what you can accomplish.
I didn’t think much more of the row until the morning of it when Mim and I were eating breakfast and were getting a bit nervous. We actually had to do this today. Scary thought! I don’t think we had quite mentally prepared ourselves for it but sometimes I guess it’s better to just take it as it comes. We had decided to split the row into two parts. First doing 12km each and then about 9km each. We wanted to go over halfway for the first one so the second round on the rower would feel a bit less daunting.
The gym had an awesome vibe when we came down. Everyone was a bit nervous but excited to see how the day would pan out. We got set up with all the rowers facing each other. We ran through some safety procedures and things to think about to avoid injury. Then it was almost time to go. We set the rowers to counting down our metres from 42 195m. Mim was first out on our rower. Then “Row row row your boat” was put on and away we went. It was amazing to see everyone getting started, we really had no idea of how long it was going to take some of us to do it but we were all in it together and cheering each other on.
Mim was on the rower for about an hour. Her stroke rate was insane to watch. Her technique is insane to watch. Considering she is recovering from a knee injury, you just would never know she had any struggles with it. That first hour for me watching went by really quickly! I’m not sure if Mim would say the same. Before I knew it, it was my turn to get on the rower. Scary thought.
I’m quite bad for going out too fast on the row, ski or bike because I get excited and get a bit carried away. This time around I was really focusing on trying to keep a consistent and steady pace. I did relatively well and was happy with the stroke rate I ended up doing. Not too far off from Mim’s, however less consistent in some parts. You would think that an hour on the rower would feel like an eternity but now looking back it’s almost like you end up in a trance. You loose concept of time and your only focus is really on those numbers on the screen, just making sure you stay consistent on those strokes. It actually went by a lot quicker than I thought and eventually it was time to get off the rower again.
I could feel my left glute and hamstring had seized up. Luckily, we had a masseur on hand who helped me out. I got a time slot after a bit of waiting and she said she could really feel I’d worked up some tension in there. It was very lucky she was there! I don’t know how long I spent there but all of a sudden it was my turn again. I could hear people screaming but couldn’t hear it was my name! Poor Mim had finished her row and was waiting for me to swap and I hadn’t heard her so she kept on going. Eventually I heard it was my name being shouted and ran across the gym to swap with her. I felt so bad. Silly silly me.
It was now the final 9k, after this we would be done! People were slowly starting to finish their rows, some finishing around three hours, which is crazy good! On the final two kilometres I was starting to struggle. It was getting really tough. I asked Mim to put on Spotify on my phone and get my headphones on. I needed to shut everything out and just go. Everything felt tired but somehow the music helped give me new energy and I improved my stroke rate considerably. I heard people gathering around us as the metres were ticking down. We weren’t far away and I heard some form of mumbling through the music of encouraging words. Eventually we got down to zero and our row was over! I felt dead. I rolled off the rower and then Mim and I got loads of high fives and well dones. I love how supportive and encouraging everyone is.
I felt bad that I didn’t do my full row so afterwards I did the 500 metres I’d missed! It felt good to have redeemed myself a little bit.
We then spent the rest of the time leading up to our lunch break cheering on the final teams and individuals finishing off. Yes some incredible people did the entire row on their own! It was so impressive (and a bit painful) to watch! When everyone had finished it was time for a lunch break. I was so hungry after all of that and stuffed myself with a veggie burger and sweet potato with hummus Mim and I had brought with us. It was soooo goood.
Once lunch had been served and devoured the afternoon heat started. This heat had mainly individuals doing it and wow, they did so well! It looked awful at times. I can’t imagine how difficult it must’ve been mentally and physically to not have anyone to switch with so you can recover! They got off the rowers a couple of times to stretch and shake off their legs. Everyone else was just hanging around shouting encouragement and cheering these individuals on.
Three and a half hours later everyone had finished! I think I must’ve been on an endorphin rush or something previously because I just crashed at this point. I felt knackered! Plus really disgusting. I just really wanted a shower and more food. Mim and I left not long after everyone had finished. As soon as we got home we ordered a vegan pizza from Crust (the only pizza I’ve actually ever really liked) and waited for it to arrive. That pulled jackfruit pizza is insane and wow it tasted even better after all that rowing. Then a warm shower awaited! We had to get ready for Perry’s birthday celebrations. A pretty good way to round off a very eventful day. We were knackered but still had a good time.
I’m so glad I took part in this amazing day! So many people came down to watch and cheer everyone on. We had the BBQ on and yeah, it’ll be a day I’ll always remember. A great excuse to spend time with all your friends in the gym whilst raising money for charity. A Saturday well spent.