The past week has been full of bittersweet moments. Amid the excitement of the impending "head race" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_race) rowing season, I've found myself shivering and rubbing my hands together to increase circulation in the chilly morning air. Fog hung over the water three mornings in a row, making already-sleepy eyes heavier and wary of the unseen the meters ahead...
These are the days that I want to move back to Miami, where we walked boats into a sandy lagoon year-round.
These are the days that I am thankful for docks, long pants, and early morning moonlight.
These are the days that I wonder why some brilliant engineer hasn't figured out how to efficiently, cost-effectively, warm bodies of water and air so that we can proceed with business as usual. That would be genius, right?
And then I begin to feel like a pouty brat...I've been at this for years now, and I still can't get over the fact that summer is coming to an end. :-(
For many rowers (and other outdoor water-lovers in seasonal climates), the transition from summer to fall can be heartbreaking. So much of our time over the past few months has been spent in and on the water; thinking about being away for months (6 to 7 in Michigan) is just depressing. Although there's indoor rowing training on the ergs (http://www.concept2.com/us/default.asp), it can be agonizing to sit on a stationary machine without the full sense of unity with your teammates and the water. And feeling the movement of the oar through the water, with the boat's loyal response to it all. I'll guess take what I can get...
Over the next month I'm going to row every day that I can. If possible, I'll double up (although that's tough with grad. school back in full gear). I will row my couple of head races this season with a level of connection and excitement that won't be felt again until next April/May. And I'll try not to cry when I have to say "goodbye" to the river until next year :(
Grahame says it perfectly:
To those of you who must bid your bodies of water farewell until next summer, I hope that you enjoy every moment until the end! Please share your sentiments and plans with the rest of us.
---How do you manage the bittersweetness of the summer's end?
---What keeps you looking ahead to next spring/summer?
---Do you have any indoor training tips for your respective sport that help you maintain a connection to the water?