Learn to Row
Still Not Sure?
Thinking of giving it a go but not sure? Have a read below with comments from two shiny, new Devils who took part in the Spring 2021 Learn to Row.
The Reluctant Rower
It was May 2021, and I was reluctantly persuaded to attend the learn to row course. I wasn’t keen, I didn’t like open water, didn’t want to get wet and though it just ‘wasn’t my thing’. It turned out I couldn’t have been more wrong. After my first session and first outing on the water a seed had been planted. I was overjoyed I didn’t get soaked and intrigued by the skill and technique required and I wanted to learn more.
By the end of the learn to row course I could row in a very rudimentary way, but I was hooked. I knew I could improve and wanted more time on the water so decided to join as a full recreational member. Nine months on this was one of the best decisions I have ever made and eagerly look forward to every session, even when its wet, cold and windy. Some of my favourite rows are at night when it is so peaceful and when the moonlight sparkles on the water its magical. Rowing has changed me both physically and mentally by being not only fitter but being on the water and the rhythm of the stroke is great way to relax and unwind.
Devil’s members are a super friendly group of people who are passionate about rowing. They are patient, skilled, encouraging and generous with their time. There is a culture at the club of wanting to nurture new members to develop their rowing abilities and for them to learn new skills. The great sense of comradery is bolstered by regular social events and plenty of cake!
I would highly recommend the learn to row course even if like me you don’t think it’s your thing or are fearful of open water. Who knows you may also be surprised and find it’s the best thing you ever did.
The Reconnected Rower
I had often seen the boats rowing down the river whilst walking with my husband and family and thought it would be a marvellous thing to try. At the time two things held me back, a fear of deep water and shyness! However, one day after a walk by the river and feeling particularly envious of the rowers, I went home and looked on the internet at the club. I saw they offered Learn to Row and then recreational rowing so I emailed the club about it before I could change my mind.
That was at the beginning of lockdown, so it wasn’t until the early summer of 2021 that I was offered a place on Learn to Row. As enthralled as I was with the opportunity to do something normal during Covid 19, I had started to suffer from and receive help for, almost (at times) paralysing anxiety. This initially held me back, but something inside told me I should go for it. I am so pleased I listened to my inner voice! The people at the club welcomed us all, everyone is lovely, approachable, and friendly. They really are a wonderful bunch of people who go out of their way to help, who persevere with us newbies, so we learn and develop the skills to row. Rowing also has social events which are great way to get to know everyone better and really are good fun.
I have found rowing to be a wonderful, calming and rewarding exercise. It is a challenging skill to master, but the rewards far outweigh this. If I have had a stressful day, feel anxious or tired, rowing brings me back to the present, invigorates me and makes me feel good. It is wonderful way to enjoy nature, to see the wildlife at the river’s edge. From learning to live with anxiety I know concentrating the senses to be “in the present” is an excellent method to cope and calm. Learning this new skill has also given me purpose. I can say without doubt, that learning to row has been key in getting myself back to feeling me.
As for the fear of water?? To be honest you are too busy rowing and enjoying yourself to care!