You’d think that I of all people would have tried every conceivable piece of gym equipment out there. And trust me, that’s on my list of 100 things to do before I die. It falls somewhere after making a cheese souffle (which requires something called a “ramekin” which I totally don’t have) and before figuring out who killed JFK (somebody did it, by golly). So it is with some embarrassment that I tell you that I only recently discovered the joy of the rowing machine.
Gym Buddy Allison and I were a little baffled when “rowing” showed up on our CrossFit WOD (workout of the day). It didn’t say how heavy we were supposed to go or whether we were doing body rows, upright rows, bent over rows, single arm rows or frat rows. Which is odd for CrossFit since they usually spell it out for you to the letter, i.e. “deadlift 1.5 times your bodyweight.” Seeing as I have a hard enough time deadlifting my toddler (although to be fair he’s WIGGLY), I think somewhere CrossFit is having a good laugh at my expense.
Anyhow, after a minute or two it finally dawned us. They meant the row, row, row your boat kind of row. Allison and I stared suspiciously at the rowing machines, of which our Y has exactly two shoved back in a corner by the stretching mats. Finally we walked over and sat down on the slidey seats.
“How do they work?”
“Like I know.”
“How do you change the resistance?”
“What do those numbers mean?”
“It means we’re slow.”
“So go faster already!”
Why? Is someone chasing us?”
“Probably just some local fisherman, out for a pleasure cruise, at night… in… eel-infested waters… “
And then I looked over at Allison intently rowing her way across a fake lake to the island of Guilder and burst out laughing. Hilarity ensued. We raced. She “won.” But only because I fell off my seat giggling. Then we tried synchronized rowing. With arm movements. I was about to “splash” her with the dregs from my water bottle but people on treadmills were staring. And I do have some sense of propriety. Somewhere.
It was fun!
After our CrossFit was done for the day (I still can’t lift my arms over my head, thank you very much), we headed back over to canoe side-by-side across the still waters of our Cybex lake. Until we hit the rapids. And then I might’ve fallen off again. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to try these things! It was awesome!
I don’t know why but it never occurred to me to try it before. Maybe I thought it was just for old people – you know, like those bikes that you pedal with your hands. Or maybe it was just because I’ve never actually seen anyone on them before. Or maybe – shhh – I was secretly scared of a big ol’ contraption that I had no idea how to use.
But no matter, Allison and I are going back tomorrow – to see if we can row fast enough to tow a skier. I’m totally going slalom;)
So what piece of gym equipment have you been avoiding? And, also, does anyone have a ramekin?