I came to rowing 2 years ago. I row the 1x. I set my 1st goal to race at FISA World Masters 2010. Maybe it was misguided, but I just wanted to be amongst former elite rowers. Who better to learn from than those with the most experience? The goal was not to worry about results only to show up and do my PB. Last year I had a new goal to line up with the best in my age class at US Nationals and I did. Such a privilege!
However, doing well in a race was empty. I felt like a fraud, because I did not know what I was doing. It is so disturbing to want to understand something, but not know how to obtain it.
I am a kinesthetic and visual learner. I know that to understand, I need to feel it. I can imitate, but unless I feel and see it, there is no real learning. Water gives me feed back, but this is limiting if I cannot see what it should look like in order to change it.
Everyone I knew in rowing told me to erg, that I needed to get stronger and use my legs, but when I tried it only once it hurt in ways that I knew were not good. Some said I was erging incorrectly, my intuition did not agree. I am lucky to have water to row on all year round, so I refused to do something that hurt. Instead, I continued rowing on water and looked for another solution.
I read Carlos Dinares posts, I read the RD on the RP3. The information made sense to me. I drove 3 days to come to Lake Samish. I was given the opportunity to train with 2 elite rowers, who are hoping to row the 2- in London. Me, a Masters rower with so little experience, how humbling, but that was the invitation to come and learn.
On the very first day on the water, Carlos addressed an issue I had been struggling with and he showed me how to fix it. Then slowing, building one day at a time adding in the RP3 together with long 20K, slow powerful rows each day… strength comes. Being in the double with Carlos addressed a grip issue that I never understood and can now clearly see and feel at the catch. I feel connected at the finish and the catch. Rowing together with these men who are so young and so powerful has been such a privilege. Each day seeing their slow, purposeful, rhythmic movements on the water becomes another avenue to internalize the feel.
Coming to Lake Samish with the majesty of the mountains, the air, the flat, thick cold water and especially the quiet allows each stroke to have focus and feel. There are NO distractions, and the water does not lie.
Please understand, in the last 2 years, I have had the privilege of some of very Great Coaches, but I have to say that Carlos has given me a different process, which has methodically interpreted the rowing stroke with a method that I can feel and see, therefore I can understand.