I was never the kind of person who was all, “seeing the sun rise in the morning on a run is just the most MAGICAL AMAZING THING EVER.” I’ve called bullshit on that claim more than once. I’ve seen the sun set on a run, and I can assure you that’s just as nice (in fact it’d be even nicer from a lounge chair with a frosty beverage in one hand and some Jimmy Buffet playing in the background).
So is my getting up at 5:20am some kind of weird April Fool’s joke on myself? No, not really. In case you missed it, because it’s been really easy to miss, it’s spring time in DC which means milder temps, cherry blossoms, allergies, madras, and rowing season. That’s right, rowing season! Because God forbid I join something normal like a rec softball team.
I’m at a different boat house this season and thus on a different river (Potomac instead of the Anacostia), which is proving a lot more convenient but without the same kind of fun, friendly, community vibe my old one had (specifically no communal waffle iron). But life without a car and with a horrible metro that’s not open to accommodate early morning people means making some really annoying choices and this ended up being one of them. For anyone considering it, rowing is a really relaxing activity when you get over how unstable the boat feels at times and your fear of falling into filthy, polluted waters that aren’t safe for swimming because they’ll probably kill you.
My mom read this article from the New York Post to me over the phone this weekend about how spin is “so 2013” and rowing is the hot new exercise routine in the City. So initially she was really excited when I said I was indeed rowing again in the spring, that is until she found out I was rowing like, out on water and not just in some fancy fitness studio on a rowing machine. “I said I was rowing, that involves things like boats and water,” I told her. “Yeah, but I thought you’d be rowing like these people, you know, on land.” Then she proceeded to talk to me for 20 minutes about House of Cards and Frank Underwood’s power grabs and how DC is filled with sick, disgusting people.
And to bring it all full circle, after my first day back at rowing, I’m not going to say it made me faster or anything. But let’s just say I set a new mile time record. So. You know.
Survey time: if you weren’t running, what would you be doing? Or what do you do when you don’t run?