Last Saturday, Row Ontario, which is in my work building, put on a Try Rowing event at the Hanlan Boat Club. My friend Rebecca works there and was basically running the event, so earlier in the week I had told her I would go.
She is all official in her Row Ontario shirt. And I am a tired tamale who hasn’t showered.
So Saturday morning after my glorious three hours of sleep, I headed to the boat club with my friend Matt who also works in my building (and who was also on my volleyball team).
I have kind of always wanted to try rowing. And by rowing I don’t mean like the old beat-up rowboat that I stole and accidentally sunk. I mean legit rowing, in legit rowboats.
Where the seats move back and forth and your feet are strapped in.
The closest I have ever come to this kind of rowing is the row machine at the gym, but it did not exactly prepare me for this. And those Olympians make rowing look so dang easy I assumed I would just be a natural and zoom across the water.
Not quite. Rowing, it turns out, is quite hard. It takes a lot of concentration and coordination. An excellent combination after about three hours sleep.
But I was game. So Matt and I got in our boat and an instructor gave us a lesson and took us through the rowing motions and taught us the terms while we were still attached to the dock. After about 20 minutes of that, we were ready to get on the water.
Well, ready-ish. It took us a while to find our rowing groove. We were struggling with getting a rhythm, and I kept hitting myself in the chest with my oars and jamming my fingers because the oars overlap when you pull them back to your body. Really, it looks a lot easier than it is. There are so many things to think about simultaneously. What your legs are doing, where your arms are, keeping your back straight, the position of your paddles, how far they are in the water, how far they are away from the boat… I also had to kind of follow Matt who was in the front, and he was new as well and not much better than me, so matching his janky rhythm was tricky. I also don’t think I’m the best follower to begin with.
We eventually went back to the dock and switched positions, and our second time out was much better.
Matt was more of a quiet leader, but I put on my bossy leader pants and yelled out “Stroke Matt! STROKE!!!!!” so maybe this is why this position worked out better for us. I do not know. But I will tell you, it was fun! Once we got the hang of it, I really liked rowing! I would love to go back. I’m thinking about taking lessons next season, but I hear they are super expensive so we shall see.
It was a great workout also. My entire body was sore until Tuesday.
We rowed around for a while, and then went back to shore to hang with Rebecca for a bit. I had originally planned on heading home straight afterwards for a spectacular napular, but it had turned into such a beautiful day I decided I should take advantage of the summery weather. So the three of us drove to the Esplanade downtown and wandered over to the Bier Markt to sit on their sunny patio. And we ordered some rowing some recovery snacks.
That waffle was ridiculous. The table next to us ordered it, and when their server brought it out to them I stopped talking mid-sentence and just stared at it as it went by us. I couldn’t believe it even existed. So Rebecca and I ordered it. I was a little apprehensive about the lack of syrup, because typically I like a TON of syrup on my waffles, but somehow they made it work. There was a white chocolate sauce on the waffle also, which you can’t really see in the picture, and it was just perfect as-is. I split it with Rebecca, but I could have easily eaten the entire thing.
I’m sure it had about 8 million calories or so, but ehhh, we had just been rowing so they probably needed to be replaced. All good.
Afterwards I headed home, showered, changed, hung out with my cat for a bit because she was being a needy little minx, and then went back out to meet up with my friend Catherine, and her man friend Eric at this cute bar called No One Writes to the Colonel.
And this is where I encountered the best mojito of my life.
Seriously, best ever. It was so minty delicious. I also really liked the bar in general. It was all laid-back and groovy, and the decor was very fun and random. It was a bit on the hipster side for sure, but in a cool way.
So it was a pretty laid-back night, and I enjoyed catching up with Catherine quite a lot.
I love living in the city close to these cool places. It is a good time.
Annnnd now I have spent a week recapping my weekend and it is once again weekend time. Hurrah. Have a great one!