When I was small ( I can better start with once upon a time) I saw a fish at the beach were we used to swim everyday. I say “used to” because after an eye opener of what kind of monstrous sharks (read: 30 cm harmless brown fishes) were living in what I thought was a loch-ness free lake I did not go swimming, or on the lake for four long years. The fish was by the way not the only reason I didn’t like to enter the lake anymore. One man drown once because of a heavy current, and we moved to a different house with a swimming pool, very helpful if you ask me (a pool, not the drowning, everyone on the lake was taking about it and praying for the family of the man). Due to the fact that I hadn’t set foot in the lake for over 4 years and that I never wanted to go to sailing camp because of the depth of the lake, my idea of going rowing for a day surprised my parents from here to the moon (the picture of the moon I have in my room (it’s part of a poster)).
This morning I arrived at the rowing club at 8:30 exactly, thinking that I was going to do a sweat-filled rowing course with my friend who also happens to be my neighbour and other people of our age (read: 15/16 years old). When I looked around, first I noticed were the incredibly slim and long boats in which I would under no circumstances stay up right on the water (a blown up multi-coloured floating donut is already tricky for me to balance on, horizontally), second thing I noticed was the line of other people who were going to row today, consisting of 10-year-old guys with the tendency to not look into your eyes, but rather a little below.
I wasn’t going to quit just yet though. Me and my friend were brave; we conquered something called prejudice and volunteered as spectators at an action card game which after a thorough explanation in Italian, I still don’t understand. Nevertheless, we would be all by ourselves on the boats. Those boats would be on the lake, and in the lake *swallow* who knows what was hiding down below having grown into a full-grown Joy Sophia eating fish? The fish of my childhood!!! I did not think of that fish until I was in the water though, which still took a long time.
Getting in the water is where our first problem starts, this is split up into two dub-problems called: the boat complication, and the boat obstacle. The boat complication is the transport of the rowing boat to the water, picking up the boat from its stand is easy, you simply pick it up like Pippi Longstocking picked up her horse. Walking towards the dock and standing there trying to figure out how to place the boat in the water without either breaking the boat by dropping it in the water, pulling yourself with the boat into the water during an attempt to roll the boat on its water resistant side in the air or simply waiting for professional help. In my case, I waited for professional help. Putting the pencil in the water was easy though, it was done before I could take off my shoes.
The second obstacle you may encounter while rowing is getting in the boat, this phase is called the boat obstacle which, though easy when explained, is hard for many people. I’ve seen three people fall next to the boat, yet they tried to jump. You try jumping onto a pencil lying in the water completely submissive to the waves. In fact you have to slide, or if you are half-reptile, slither in the boat. First one foot, then your but, but “careful, CAREFUL, other wise the boat fills with water”, and then your other foot.
As the teacher, one of the few blonde Italians I noticed around the past week, tied a rope to my and other boats of beginners so they wouldn’t float away into the middle of the lake, which is one of the few things I am certain of would have happened if he wouldn’t have given me thorough explanation of how to row before.
Let me tell you that rowing is incredibly fun, I didn’t fall like I thought I would, I ended up quite far in a short amount of time and for you people who love tanning instead of action, I would advise considering rowing. You tan twice as quickly because you are on the water, you have a rigorous work-out (legs, core, arms) and there is a constant cool-off of the wind (if you are actually rowing).
Besides having found my dream home, an old mansion with an even bigger garden looking over the entire valley and the lake and access to the lake, I also found a few fellows that might be the offspring of the fish of my childhood. I have not been attacked. This time. I’m sure the fish of childhood is waiting for me to get a little more to the centre of the lake before greeting me again. 😉
Close your computer, (after you find out the closest rowing club near you), and get rowing.
Love, Joy Sophia.
picture via: weheartit