Monday, August 17, 2009

At Least the Shoes Are Free

Here's Margot's latest message with the title of this post explained at the end... Also, if you would like to email a "little bit homesick" rower, please do. Let me know if you need her address, I don't want to just post it here.

Hey Guys,

Things are going well here in Poland. I rowed the empacher single twice yesterday and though I was comfortable and it is a really nice boat, it wasn't until this morning when I rowed the brand new filippi Matt ordered for me that I really felt my confident self coming back. Its been an adjustment getting over here and getting into a routine, but now things are starting to come together. There was some debate in my (and Matt's) head about maybe racing the empacher, mostly brought on by the fact that Cam who never watched me row, said that I look better in it than in my boat back home. (Empacher pictured below.)

However, within the first 500m of my row this morning I knew that the filippi was the right boat for me. Its very clean and very smooth through the water and my stroke is much easier than in the empacher. Anyway, excited about that and to do some pieces later this week. Will practice again today around 4:30. (Filippi pictured below.)

Mom, you can use whatever you want out of the emails, just maybe take out the personal stuff and keep to the rowing I guess. I'll double check your work so beware. JK.

The food is great at the hotel and I'm sleeping alright. The beds and room are very comfortable. The city I have yet to explore but doesn't seem like much right now within walking distance that is that exciting. Hopefully we will get an afternoon to kind of go off and see what is out there early this week. If not, after racing will suffice.

Anyway, I miss you guys. Please write when you can. Its a great comfort to me to hear from you. I am sorry that I can't call yet, but I will let you know when I can and we can set up a time that works for all of us to talk.

Please let me know how your weekends were and what happened at work/nationals/etc etc. Its a nice distraction for me and makes me feel like I haven't lost touch.

I love you. Talk to you soon.



The title of this post corresponds to the picture below. If you haven't had a chance to watch rowers as they prepare to race, they carry the boat to the water, walk out on the dock with it, and then place the boat in the water. There is a bit of fiddling with assorted boat parts that I can't name. Then, before getting into the boat, they take off their shoes.


Because the shoes are already in the boat. What a great idea--unless you are sharing the boat with someone else. I'll have to ask about that, could be a little gross. 

(This photo shows the interior of the Empacher pictured above.)

The orange piece in this boat is the seat (or half the seat if you have spread a bit as I have). Notice the horizontal lines behind the seat. When you row, you sit on the seat, put your feet in the shoes, and use your leg muscles to glide back and forth on these rails (another thing I can't name). The force of that movement is a major part of the force of your strokes. I welcome constructive correction from rowers and others who actually do this.

(Addendum - Sat., Aug. 22) We were on Skype with Margot early this morning and I asked her about the gross shared-shoe thing. She said this isn't a problem because they always wear socks -- in winter they wear several pair of socks. I totally missed the sock-putting-on activity on the dock, and am glad to learn she and her fellow rowers are not at risk for contracting terminal athlete's foot (at least not from the boat shoes).

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