The day when I first row a boat seriously

I feel like a partial cripple today. I woke with pain all over my body, stretching from the side of my neck, to my shoulders, arms, palms, to my upper back, waist, down to my butt, thighs and a little pain on my feet. As crazy as this might sound, I actually enjoy the pain. The satisfaction of working out so much in the past 2 days was just... rewarding.

Let me tell you about my day yesterday. Along with 3 of my girlfriends, we decided it should be quite an experience to go rowing. It wasn't an average leisure rowing type of activity like kayaking or canoeing, we're talking about high impact, intensive rowing where we have to give a 110% of what we have.

Now I wouldn't say no to any form of workout, I'm definitely determined to learn and give it my best. I figured it will be something to blog about and share with the readers who are occasionally stalking my life too haha. As it was only my first time there, I didn't want to look like a complete bimbo camwhorer with her camera who was only interested in taking pictures for the blog. I wanted to be serious, even more to look the part.

Being there on time is essential, at least for me. The training site is at Lebuh Maccallum, a construction side near the sea. I do not have any pictures so I'm just going to *steal* a few from the Penang Forward blog itself.

This is the container where the team store their paddles, life jackets, and other misc items for the members to keep when they go out rowing.

There were about 30 something of us at the training but we had only one boat, that day so we had to share.

This is the glorious boat the team is very proud of, I heard one boat costs about SGD14,000 and it can fit up to 20 people at one time if I'm not mistaken.

Much to our surprise, we were asked to go first. And I thought we will be at least briefed on how to hold the paddle, or work on our strokes. But no, we were thrown into practice just like that. I'm about to brave the sea, those who cannot swim have the choice to wear a life jacket but the stubborn me decided that nothing will happen and I'm pretty confident that we're in good hands.

If I fall, I fall into this greyish looking sea, not exactly a nice sight but oh well...

One by one, we climbed into the boat and positioned ourselves. Since I'm a leftie, I chose to row on my left side. Then we slowly row backwards into the sea.

Our "coach" is a man in his late 40s, standing in the middle of the boat, correcting our sitting positions and how we should handle our paddles. When he blew the whistle, we started rowing.

One, two, SPLASH! My friend who was sitting in front of me splashed me with the dirty water. I didn't expect to stay dry throughout the training so I told her its ok and we continued rowing. It wasn't easy, I was tired in less than 20 counts. Stopped and rowed again, when I'm tired I stopped for 2 counts and started again.

The coach stood in front of us, the newbies and kept correcting our mistakes.

"You're sitting wrongly! This is not an office sitting position"

"You should only sit half of the plank"

"Arms straight, body lean forward, waist supporting your upper body"

"Lean out! Lean out! Lean out towards the sea, you won't fall!" but I was afraid of falling! I regretted not wearing the life jacket! I tried to make a joke or two but he wasn't impressed so I kept my silence and followed his orders.

"Keep your posture straight, don't hunch!"

"Sink your paddle in, almost vertical, raise it to your waist,lift it up and back to position with your arms stretched"

We practiced our strokes, one stroke per one blow of his whistle. This wasn't bad except when you have to return to the initial position to stretching your arms out and wait for the next whistle blow. I totally lost it when they started paddling fast. For one, my arms got tired real fast and once I stop, I totally lost the sync. Two, because the noobies were siting together, our paddles often came in contact and hit each other -_- Three, because we can't master the stroke well yet, we splashed sea water onto each other so much it got into our eyes we had to stop paddling to wipe the water (and sweat in my case) from our eyes.

We were glad to finally made it back to the shore. The guys went down next. It was almost a humiliation to the first team. They were so synchronized, and almost everyone looked so fit it put us to shame. We sat on a big floating concrete resting, talking and watching a dog belonging to one of the men goofed around.

This is probably the most loyal, well trained dog I've came across.

We went down for a second round after that, this time we didn't row as much. Again, the coach was busy watching our every step. After 2 hours of rowing, we decided to call it day.

At least, we thought so....

until the leader shouted

"Ok, people! Hiking later at 5pm in YouthPark!"


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