Still Waters Run Deep

When you begin to row, at some point you may decide that this is your new passion. After this realization, you'll look at the world a little differently.

Take bodies of water, for example.

Here in Minnesota, we stumble across them everywhere (This is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”—officially 14,842 of them). Any trip you take anywhere seems to move you past or over some sort of body of water. 

A non-rower, driving along, might think like this:

“Oh. There’s a lake (river, pond, stream)."

Then they would continue along their merry way. They might not even notice the water in the first place.

A rower’s response is totally, completely, profoundly different. Rowers are human divining rods. We always find water--and then assess its RQ (rowability quotient). Our thoughts go something like this:

“There’s water!" (WATER! WATER!)
“Is it still and calm?"  (YES! I WANT TO ROW IT!)
“Is it a little choppy?" (Hmmm…I STILL WANT TO ROW IT!)
“There’s no debris!" (I’M DEFINITELY READY TO ROW IT!)
“There are quite a few downed trees in the way…” (LET’S PULL OUT THE LOGS AND ROW IT!)
“It looks a little too shallow…." (LET’S DREDGE IT AND ROW IT!)
"It seems a little twisty…” (GREAT PRACTICE FOR HEAD OF THE CHARLES! LET’S ROW IT!)
“Are those other rowers out there?!” (STOP THE CAR! I’M ROWING IT NOW!)

Granted, some of us are a little choosier. However, it seems that every body of water--no matter how ugly, beautiful, narrow, wide, bendy, straight, calm, or wavy, becomes a candidate for a possible row--or at least is assessed for how suitable it would be for this purpose. It's a never-ending quest for the perfect body of water to plunk your boat into, ply your oars, and glide off into the sunset.

A couple I once knew lashed their singles and oars to the top of their car and travelled from Ohio to points east. They stopped at every rowable body of water they saw, and gave it a row. This is my definition of a dream vacation. I love everything about it. (Sadly, my non-rowing husband isn't so inclined to join me on such a trek, and I kinda like spending time with him. But perhaps you'll take this idea and run with it, dear Novice Rower? Let me know how it goes.)

So as your rowing career progresses, your daily travels might take you across a familiar bridge for the umpteenth time. One day, at long last, you might take a peek over the side to see how the water's looking...

...and you'll want to row it.