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Using your Head

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

David McWethy

Rowing is miraculous! On one hand it is so simple, and on the other, so complex. It feels miraculous in the way it unfolds over time.

In a learn-to-row class you can learn some basics, and actually propel a boat though the water on Day 1. But you can develop just so far without some fitness. Unless you come to it with a base of fitness, you are limited. If you don’t have core strength, or are not limber, you can only approximate the experience and feel of a good stroke. You can’t fully benefit from drills to improve if the fitness isn’t there. If your sense if balance has not been exercised, that will make it harder for you and your boat mates. If you have a hard time relaxing in the boat, that will limit you.

The good (and miraculous) news is that it will come together with time and practice. Fitness improves, balance improves, and a confidence that comes from time on the water.

Another part of the miracle is developing a willingness to do this succession of pieces. Earlier in, my mind told me I’d be exhausted from this, but my tolerance for it, and even enjoyment, has developed. It leaves me vastly better prepared for racing a 1K than last year. My starts are getting more consistent. I know my body and mind better under the task.Here is a new formula, thanks to Norwegians, to calculate maximal heart rate, by age

A high point today, after seeing all of Sarah,s rowers stand up and rock, I tried it myself. It actually felt very easy and secure. Harder in the imagining than the doing.

(PS. Good stuff here for those working in the ergs).


It actually feels very easy and secure. Harder in the imagining than the doing. (U.of Calgary crew in Tempe Arizona)


Rene took it a step further.


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