Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Row My Boat

This picture is a few months old. That's me, pumping the water out of my dinghy after a rainy night. (Thank goodness for rubber boots!)

This week, Ben is up north attending a work conference. It's just me and Lo on the boat. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, that's true. But it seems to also make my muscles grow stronger. I never realized before how many times I have to row back and forth to shore. I suppose that's partly because when Ben is here, he shares the duty of taking Lola to shore for potty breaks. But in addition to that, Ben often rows all three of us when we are together (and we're almost always together). I guess I never realized til now just how much rowing Ben actually does! *Thanks, Ben!*

A friend told me that she didn't think she could row that much. But I think she could. I think anyone could if they didn't have a choice. If I don't row, I am stuck on the boat 24/7 and that would be even harder than rowing. Even after 8 months living on the boat, there are times when I just NEED to be on solid ground.

The hardest part for me is rowing against a strong current. I must look pretty silly to the people on land, as I struggle to row against the current, each stroke appearing to take me just a little bit further from my destination. As I move at a snail's pace, I can't help but imagine how handsome my back and upper arms must look after months of rowing! ;) And eventually I get where I'm going.

Ben has an inflatable dinghy with a motor. You might be wondering why I don't retire the oars and use the motor. There are a few reasons for that:
A) I don't know how to use it.
B) It has some quirks that I'd rather not deal with.
C) With mechanical things, there is always that worry that it will break. With rowing, there is never that worry. (Except that time when those crappy oars broke while Ben was rowing, but I've since purchased some nice solid ones!)
D) Rowing is Zen-like. It forces me to slow down and reflect.

Have you ever seen a person in a wheelchair cruising around like it's nobody's business? As if the wheelchair is an extension of their body? I'm beginning to feel the same way about rowing. It's as if the oars are extensions of my arms. It's fun to turn on a dime and slide sideways right up to the dock. I haven't perfected my skills, but I'm a work in progress.

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