Thursday, 14 May 2009
I’ve been back to the rowing club several times now. Learning to row as part of a team is a challenge and not stopping to enjoy the view is one of the hardest parts.
But the rowing has been a lot easier since I changed boats. The veterans with whom I went out the first few times are a hard-arsed bunch. They smoke, they spit and their beer guts are pure muscle. And though I qualify in age for this boat I’m still a bit too soft and pink to make the grade. I’m now rowing with the junior team. We are rowing to compete so there’s no let up in the hour’s training session but there are other beginners onboard and if someone occasionally catches a crab we all get a brief rest while we untangle the oars. And when there’s football on the telly we knock off early.
Technically I’m too old to row with these bright young things but I act light on my toes and hold my tummy in and nobody seems to have noticed the permanence of my crow’s feet. I feel like an infiltrator and am not sure I actually want to compete but at least until my behind is as tough as a baboon’s I’ll keep applying the anti-wrinkle cream and plucking the grey hairs from my beard.