Here are eleven good reasons
1. Rowing is an excellent aerobic workout for your entire body.
You use your legs, back, stomach, arms, neck and hands to row. It is one of the few sports that involves all of the body’s major muscle groups. Getting all those parts to work together is a challenge, too.
2. Learning to row is quick and easy.
You can learn to scull in four lessons, and sweep row in a day. But mastering rowing can take the rest of your life, if you want it to.
3. Rowing can be your second sport. Once you’ve decided to stop running because you’ve worn down your knees or ankles, or hung up your cleats because you can’t run for 90 minutes straight anymore, you can take up rowing and do it for many more years.
4. Rowing is quiet.
You can enjoy the beauty of Budd Inlet without disturbing nature or polluting the Sound. If you don’t splash a lot, talk a lot, or flip the boat, seals will even follow you.
5. Rowing can be relaxed or competitive, depending on you.
If you want to go to regattas and race against other clubs, you can do that at OAR. Or if you’re more of an occasional rower who’d rather go out with your rowing buddy on sleepy summer mornings and spend a few hours tooling around the Sound for fun, that’s also possible.
6. You can row alone or with others.
If you like spending time by yourself when you exercise, sculling in a single is for you. But, if you like doing repetitive motions while staring at the back of the person in front of you and following their every move, you should definitely be in a quad, a four or an eight. Of course, if you prefer something in-between, then a pair or a double (two in a boat) might do the trick.
7. Parents – if your sons or daughters are not into team sports, but want to do something athletic, this may be the sport for them.
OAR is a club, not associated with a particular school. Kids in the junior program have come from many of the schools in Thurston County, and even as far away as Centralia and Tacoma. Rowing helps kids develop high self-esteem, and learn personal accountability, constructive self-motivation, goal-setting and goal achievement. Unlike traditional competitive sports, rowing creates an atmosphere in which the desire for self-improvement and goal achievement motivates individuals to develop their natural abilities and help others to do the same.
8. If you don’t want to row, but love to boss people around, this is the sport for you.
Coxswains (pronounced “cox-sins”) are very popular people when eight big, hearty rowers want to take a boat out on a calm water day. They can’t do it without you. So, if you’re of average size or smaller, you can get a free ride around the Sound without having to kill yourself doing it. And when your boat wins an Olympic race, you get a medal around your neck, too.
9. No other sport you ever do will look as beautiful as your rowing team in synch.
No other sport will look this graceful and cool. When done right, rowing appears effortless. Only you and your teammates know the truth.
10. You will make friends and you will learn a lot about yourself in a boat.
Rowing is the ultimate team sport. When you are one of four or one of eight in a boat, you stop being an individual and become a part of a team, in the truest sense. When rowing with others, the object is to perform at your maximum capacity for the duration of a race, doing exactly the same thing as everyone else in the boat. There is no physical contact, but each person must be mentally connected to the others and the feel of the boat. This sense of unity is challenging, but ultimately rewarding when it is felt by the entire crew.
11. You get to travel and learn a new language.
In this sport, “catching a crab” is not a good thing. But “swinging” – that elusive feeling when near-perfect synchronization of motion happens– that is a very good thing. Rowing has a lot of unusual words – pronouncing “coxswain” and “gunwale” correctly is a challenge by itself – learning to use them correctly, particularly the commands, is really like mastering a foreign language. Regattas all take place on bodies of water – lakes, rivers, inlets. In the Pacific Northwest, where you go to race are some of the most beautiful places in the country – and you get to spend all day (sometimes longer) there.