Everyone else calls a rowing machine a rowing machine. Rowers call it “the erg,” short for “ergometer,” which I think means, “a machine that measures work.” Because that’s what rowing is — work. There’s a reason the guys down in the galley in those old movies are rowing with a whip on their shoulders. The difference between hiking and backpacking is the difference between “something you can do all day” and “something where you actually consider drilling out the center of your toothbrush to save a gram or two of weight.” And the difference between working out on an erg and on a treadmill is like that.
Because I want to take a rowing camp this summer, and maybe get out on the water, now that I’m in a city with decent rowing space. The woman who runs the camp suggested I take her erg class, that maybe it might clear up why my back hurts whenever I row for longer than 10 minutes. Well, of course it did — my form is lousy. My form is always lousy. I’m convinced my body was made for sin, not exercise. It’s too long in the torso and too short in the leg, and whatever I do, some coach is always telling me, “It’s your form.” So now I get to practice on the erg, only slow and careful, with an eye toward muscle memory. Muscle memory — I ask you. All my muscles remember is that they’d rather be lounging in a nice Adirondack chair with a tall cold one.
On the other hand, our family tends to live into the ninth decade. I should start smoking again.
No bloggage today — yet. I spent the day scouring tax forms and checking the smoke signals on the Albom story. I keep thinking it’ll die any minute, and then it grows legs. As Drudge says: Developing.