Two strokes forward…one stroke back

I think I’ve rowed as much this far in July as I did all last year.

I wouldn’t say the waterway is as peaceful like Kentucky. A busy road runs along the east side, just like Benderson Park. But it is pretty and thus far the waters calm. Only one day of head wind. I’ve seen deer twice and angered many gaggles of geese. And, at least, if I do get in the metaphorical weeds there are people around. I’ll end up in someone’s backyard versus a National Guard shooting range or miles from the nearest house.

The humidity has been near-reminiscent of Florida rowing. I’ve come off sopping wet a few times.

Flat water for miles

So it was really nice to finally get a second opinion about the rig. Without me mentioning my thoughts, The first thing Julio said after watching was “your boat is too big.”

Lesson: Trust your instincts

No one wants to be the person claiming they’re slow because their boat is slow. But I just haven’t seen the numbers I expected despite all my rigging work. I started to suspect the boat was simply too large a hull for me. Again, I didn’t want to blame the boat. The athlete is the motor, the driver, the one with the most capacity to make change.

Same with technique stuff. I knew something about my release was doing was off, but couldn’t pinpoint it. Thought it had something to do with my pull-through and I was right.

Now I’m in the market for a different boat and at a time when singles are more in demand than ever and we have some unexpected expenses. At least I’m not in a rush to acquire. The Fluid still works for now.

Sunrise rowing

I forgot the bubble wrap

We had some family time last weekend with the boys biking and me rollerblading. We found a skate park off the trail that Caelan was loving. It looked fun. So I thought why not? Little ramp, little bump, I can do that.

And I did. Down the ramp, up the bump, and down the ramp right my gluteus Maximus.

I felt the twinge in my knee and my hip. I thought I’d just tweaked it. Rest and ice, ya know? I blazed home just fine. At home it started feeling worse. I took three days off rowing and erging. Just lifting, a long bicycle.

Thursday I seemed fine, but I stayed conservative with just an easy 7k row. It didn’t twinge or anything noticeable— until I got out of the boat. Instant pain, hobbling around the boathouse. Immediate ibuprofen, foam roller, and ice at home.

22 mile bike ride to OSU.

Friday, fine. Saturday, 15.5k. Give me a wheelchair. Excruciating. I wasn’t sure I’d made our first date night in months. Ice, rest, lots of ibuprofen.

Sunday I admitted it was a problem and started worrying about a torn meniscus or ligaments. I found our city had Orthopedic Walk-in Clinics, but none open on Sundays. Still-easy peach and way better than an ER!

Monday, one X-ray and painful manipulation later, a diagnosis of a popliteus strain. Better than a tear, but still a detriment to rowing. I can exercise as long as the movement doesn’t aggravate it… well, guess what particular sport aggravates it?

So it’s definitely a full week away from the erg and the boat. Maybe more. Cycling seems ok, so I’ve done some of that. And weightlifting, just avoiding any problems moves. No lunges, but resistance bands seem fine. The anti-inflammatory medicine makes a HUGE difference in the pain level and mobility. I can tell when it’s wearing off.

The team is trying to have a singles scrimmage in August. I’m hoping to better enough to throw down for that, even if I’m not in top shape.

That’s all for now. Here’s to healing fast and rowing fast.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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