“I always hear about the free weeks or the cheap monthly rates.” “Yeah, but if you look at the actual plans, over the course of a year, it’s like $500.[1,2]” It’d be one thing if I needed the external motivation, liked networking, did a wide range of workouts on many different types of ergometers, or wanted to learn from a personal trainer. All I wanna do is row! It’s been a month. I’m growing ever weaker…
I’ve just about reached the end of this mini-rower’s potential. Ten 10-minute sets at the new apartment and its pistons and monorail squeak enough to discourage me from putting my all into it. No matter how much I tried variations – rowing outside, rowing while doing laundry, using the hallway corners as grips for my arms so I wouldn’t need to use the pistons – there was just nothing that could compare. I’ll need a new option.
After adjusting to apartment living for two weeks now, although I’m not the noisiest neighbor, at least I hope not, I would be with the dull white noise of the Concept2 Model B rower. Although it is nostalgic, has a nice aesthetic, and has utility beyond belief, not here, nor in the next apartment. I couldn’t row at my full potential whenever I want with it, whereas at 11 pm, I could row on other ergometers.
Louder rowers envelop you with white noise. It’s an oppressive sound that even with hearing protection still prevents anything more than even more unnatural sounds to pierce through it. This sound cacophony easily quiets external distractions but also dampens internal distractions. As you’re rowing, you first focus on your pace, then whether anything hurts, then you just forget about yourself, your rowing, and all that’s left is a solitary peace as you escape the noise.
I haven’t been consistently exercising since I kicked this massive downsizing decluttering project, “Moving Zeal,” and there are parts of me that are justifying that by saying: “Well, you’re moving boxes around. Some are really heavy.” I also have been not sedentary for most of the day, so my metabolism is up. I’m sleeping more, too, and my weight has been within the same range. Still, I miss rowing: the effort, obligation, and self-confident satisfaction.
If I’m honest with myself, my interest in rowing has tapered off over the past few weeks [as of this publishing]. I used to row twice daily, now if I row a few times a week, it’ll be a welcome change. I’ve let the discipline of exercising slip. Sometimes, it’s understandable, where if I’ve moved boxed all day, that’s one thing, but on days where I’m just writing? Let’s not use excuses about why not.
I never was interested in sports growing up because they were always collaborative and no one would ever collaborate with me. I had trouble expressing myself, with communication, and with being around other people. I still do. I’m better now. When I finally realized I was in dire health and joined a gym, sitting on that rower felt completely natural. Now here was a sport that depended entirely on my efforts and it felt amazing.
If I weren’t borderline ill, I’d bring this mini-rower outside to take shots of it in the snow, and possibly even row in the snowfall, because it is the solution to a lingering question I’ve had for a few weeks now: How will I keep rowing after I move? While my loud, proud Concept2 Model B is an ideal piece of machinery, this humble, discontinued Precor 612 will do just fine. With some adjustments, of course.
“I know not to donate… gar-bage!” I understand the mentality. I’ve been there. Thrift stores lose money when they take in trash, but come on, buddy, quit giving me shit for donating stuff I don’t have the time to sell. Most of my time now is spent sifting through the possessions I haven’t boxed up to figure out what I must keep and what I can burn off. Decluttering is like practicing new dietary restrictions.
I was in a weird funk for a few days and couldn’t quite pinpoint why: I hadn’t rowed in a few days. It’s become such a fundamental core of my day to row at least once that too much time away feels weird. It’s like ten minutes to myself and my mind, to explore thoughts, or just actively meditating on how my body is feeling. There are, of course, other exercises that are good enough…