When wrote my new years fitness resolution publicly on , I forgot about unintended consequences as well as The Secret. Putting my into the world, obviously started a cascade of ! The Universe woke up and had its way with me. -class Intention-Power
My resolutions were pretty simple. One of them was just “get back onto my erg.”
As a lark and to make myself more accountable, I invited a couple Facebook friends to start a virtual rowing club, Team Grotto, populate a virtual 4-man boat, and sign up to compete in a virtual regatta, the 2013 Virtual Team Challenge.
Now, just a couple-few weeks into the new year I have putting in at least 20 minutes and 5,000 meters into the logbook with the goal of logging 10,000 meters every single day between now and the last day of the month. And I, myself, am the weakest link in what turns out to be a fantastically strong (albeit virtual) boat.
One of my teammates, who goes by Stephen Dee, turns out to be a rowing monster. He routinely gets on his “Model D” Indoor Rower (we call them ergs, or rowing ergometers) and pulls an “HM” (half marathon), a 21km, or even a FM (full marathon), a full 42km!
I have jumped from the frying pan into the rower!
It has become the only thing I have scheduled for my day’s down-time. I eat for rowing, I schedule my rowing, and I get a heck a lot of ribbing — and I feel a lot of guilt and responsibility and quite like the runt of the litter as a result.
Simply put, I started out just not remotely as strong as my three teammates — and I am actively going for someone who hasn’t really erged for years (yes, I have the rower, but it was basically a very expensive place to hang things, no matter how cliche that may be).
So, between starting dusting off my rowing machine on January 1, reaching out to Stephen, recruiting Douglas and Quintin, and then starting the race. it’s only been two weeks — two weeks that required me to blow out my rowing cobwebs, reconnecting with the all-powerful and important “stroke,” and then building up strength, cardio vascular endurance, and generally letting my body get used to this new daily abuse — all in fewer than three-weeks!
Just like that. Like with absolutely no forethought at all. Yikes!
So, in a little over two weeks, all said, Team Grotto is #3 worldwide if you limit the race to only virtual teams of 5 or fewer who are using indoor rowers — mostly thanks to Stephen and Douglas — and have accumulated 526,008 meter — 324 combined miles!
And, as we go, I am getting stronger, more efficient, more comfortable, and definitely evermore vulnerable to chiding, guilt, encouragement, and camaraderie.
(Let me let you in on something: I am much more preface, forward, and introduction than chapter 1, so I think I am seriously surprised to suddenly find myself in a virtual boat on a virtual river in a virtual regatta rowing the longest and most persistent global race before I even was ready to commit to anything. Again, yikes! PS: Check it out, that’s me at 19, rowing for GW, my alma mater — glory days!)
So, while I may, for the time-being, be constantly tired, sore, and a little stinky, I am also becoming a globally competitive indoor rower racer while I am learning to race — I am not simply training for a race, I am training while I race.
There is no way I would have been able to self-motivate with this ferocity or commitment — and for that I am grateful and amazed.
That said, I will also be much more careful the next time I put something like out there. Or not. If I have learned anything, hopefully not.
Or, maybe not. Maybe if I knew what I was stumbling into I either wouldn’t have done it or I wouldn’t have done it just yet — until I was ready, prepared, fit. Maybe something that would never happen.
So, while I highly recommend this level of team-accountability to anyone, I also warn you: if you take the leap, you had better be willing to row your talk.
If you need a quick kick in the pants, feel free to join our virtual rowing club over on Facebook, whether you have a rower or not. If you have a Concept II, please feel free to join our open team, Team Grotto — I am happy to upgrade to an 8 or more; you’re welcome to use the log the rowers in your gym, and, when you’re ready to commit, hit up Craig’s List as there’s always a used Concept 2 for sale in your area; or, of course, just head over to Concept 2 and order one of your own (or you can wait until loads of cheap, lightly-used Concept2 Model Ds, come up for sale after the upcoming 2013 ). World Indoor Rowing Championships
But, you are officially warned — you know what you’ll be in for.
Abandon hope all ye who enter here.