The joy of rowing … and Pilates.

Many thanks to Jayne for this excellent account of her first rowing experience:

“My life as a Pilates teacher in North Norfolk has led me to meet some really fun and interesting people and also has opened doors I could never have imagined. Take today: I mentioned to my husband as we were on our way to the Broads for an afternoon of rowing, that just 4 years ago I would probably at 2pm on a Thursday, be on the M25 in a traffic jam, or in a dingy room on some industrial park, battling it out and trying (and failing) to make my point in another endless ego fuelled team meeting! But, wow, today, we were embarking on another new adventure – rowing! Not the mechanical slog of a gym rowing machine, but real life, water, fresh air, natural and of all things in a proper boat with a real team. People that have come together with a shared passion for the love of movement, real teamwork and just the sheer joy of rowing.

I must admit, I had my doubts I’d be absolutely terrible at this and bearing in mind I’ve also just started to teach a Pilates course especially designed for rowers, I was worried that my lack of technical knowledge, experience of proper rowing and lack of coordination would land me either in the water or worse, lacking in credibility as an ‘exercise professional’. I need not have worried. Victoria, Alan and Rob were the perfect teachers, calm, non-judgmental, smiley, welcoming and full of knowledge. Right from the start, as soon as we’d had our safety brief and got out on the water, we started to row, a bit clunky at first, but after a few drills and one small fall from grace as I lost my concentration and feel off my seat, we started a steady and seemingly smooth row out of the marina and down the river.

The sound and rhythm of the boat was intoxicating. All the stress of the day, any anxious thoughts, troubles and worries just disappeared as we worked together, feeling the water and sensing each other’s movements. The weather was kind, the tide slow, the swans a bit mad, but the sheer bliss of gliding through the water on such a lovely afternoon was heaven. It’s a joy to be alive on a day like that. Pleasure that can be taken from nature and people and the thing I’m most grateful to is my Pilates. How far it’s brought me from my old life of living too fast with people that have no time and always want more stuff. Too many deadlines, too many shiny new things and too much competition to out do each other. Pilates has brought a sense of wellbeing, connection to my body and mind and made me fit enough to enjoy the real pleasures of life, things like rowing on the Broads on a Thursday with my husband and a bunch of lovely people.”