Row hard, row fast

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Most people seem to believe rowers are insane for the conditions in which we train. My response is that I saw the “insanity line” and well and truly crossed it!! Actually most people would say that about many of my life choices, but this blog is going to focus on my attempt to rise through the ranks of the sport and become an -Olympic rower.

There are a few differences to my story though, which make it a bit more unusual, I am unable to walk and have problems with my trunk control thanks to a few complicated medical conditions. This means that I am classified as an “arms and shoulders” (AS for short) rower, which means, as name suggests, I row only using my arms and shoulders. You can find out more about ;Adaptive Rowing ;on the British Rowing Website.

I’m also unable to digest food properly and have to be fed through a central line into my heart which pumps a special aseptically prepared liquid into my veins overnight.

Given non adaptive rowers use their legs for the majority of their power, trying to shift basically the same boat, using your arms and shoulders only, certainly hasn’t made me the envy of my club members, who mostly think I’m mad for doing it, as they don’t much fancy it. The mischievous side of me thinks they all should try it, just to see what it’s like!!

For me it’s a dream come true. I know that sounds weird, but it’s the only way I’ve been able to take part in the sport I fell in love with back in 2004. The story of why I’m now an adaptive rower is a post for another time, but this has been the only way to facilitate the thing I’ve missed more than walking or eating normally. See, told you I had crossed the insanity line.

I have already started on the road to my ultimate aim, and I’ll bring you up to speed with that in another post as well.

This was just a brief, hello and to hopefully give you a taste of what’s to come if you stick with me. The exciting news is that I’ve been given tickets to the Paralympic rowing on Friday, which I’m very much looking forward to seeing, it’ll give me a taste of what’s to come and it’ll be an amazing experience to see those I aspire to be like, racing.


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