My SUP is Now an Oarboard Too

You have to keep moving.

Keeping it real is half the battle to maintaining a good fitness routine.

How many people have joined gyms, paid their subscriptions and despite the automatic payments draining money from the account, had good intentions fade?

I’ve tried several times to get fit at the gym.

The treadmill and rowing machines bore me. Running on a rubber conveyor belt or pulling on a fan in a static environment. It is no wonder I gave up without the desired result.

So what is the answer?

There is no one answer. We all have different things that work for us.

For me, the answer is to better utilise the environment around me.

We are privileged to  live so close to the sea, which has always been my passion.

We have been living in an awesome location for several years now, but not using it.

It wasn’t until I started to incorporate gratitude into my daily routine, that it occurred to me I wasn’t appreciating the opportunities that were quite literally right at my doorstep.

Rowing is one of those sports or activities that uses every muscle in your body, giving you a balanced workout. You can take it easy and go for a long distance row or work hard and fast until the muscles start to shake with fatigue.

There is also some skill involved with regard to balancing. Get it wrong and the potential to tip over seems real enough.

The balance and coordination required when rowing a narrow boat gives muscles work that sitting on a rowing machine on a solid floor can’t do.

The fact that the scenery, weather and sea conditions change in the real world adds to the enjoyment, making each workout different.

Rowing is also a meditative activity. Once you condition the muscles to maintain the rhythm and balance without having to think about it, creative ideas start popping into your head. I guess the fresh air, increased blood flow and getting in the zone has something to do with that.

The skill of rowing also promotes special awareness. The fact that you are not looking directly where you are going, constantly looking over your shoulders, exercises your peripheral vision and situational awareness. You become more aware of the sounds around you, listening for clues that other vessels are near.

Rowing is a great way to learn about boating. Because you are moving relatively slow through the water, the effects of tidal streams, wind and waves and the trim of the boat become more obvious. The lessons you learn when rowing will stay with you and repeatedly help keep you out of trouble throughout your boating life.

With all the technology we use to get out on the water these days, outboard motors, jet skis and high powered noisy diesel engines, it is refreshing to go back to basics.

While out rowing this morning, a book I once read came to mind. The book is called “First You Have to Row a Little Boat” by Richard Bode. It is written by a grown man looking back on his childhood. He reflects on what learning to sail taught him about life: making choices, adapting to change, and becoming his own person.

I highly recommend you read it. You can click the link to buy it from amazon.

Getting out on the water is how I like to keep fit.

What is going to keep you moving?

Leave a comment below.