During training camp at Telemark Lodge in Cable, Wisconsin, I had a great opportunity to meet a handful of wonderful women. The group “Ski and Tea” came for a ski walking clinic lead by the CXC Women’s Team. We did some mobility drills, ski walking intervals up Telemark Mountain, and yoga. As part of the group tradition, they gather afterwards for tea, coffee and biscuits.
When meeting a group of twenty for the first time, you never know what sort of stories will arise. Many ask questions, and most share their enthusiasm for training. At one time, the topic of reviving the old NordicTrack came up. The problem for serious skiers, is that it does not teach effective kick and is minimal at addressing rhythm and arm motion. I suggested the SkiErg as an alternative, since it is more specific for competitive training. The Concept2 brand led to a discussion on rowing, which then brought up a whole new sport I knew nothing about, called Dragon Boat racing.
Lo and behold, the head of Ski and Tea, Linda Cook, is also a member of the Wiki Wiki Wahine Dragon Boat Team, who won the Premier Women’s Division at the Dragon Boat USA Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Although many sports cross paths, each one has its own culture, so it was exciting to stumble across this diverse group unknown to me. They are between the ages of 16–72 and made history by being the first women’s team in the 10-year history of the Lake Superior Dragon Boat festival to take home medals from the Gold Division Finals. They are headed to the World Championships in Hong Kong July 4–8, 2012.
Dragon Boat racers are paddlers, not rowers, but the rowing machine is frequently used for training. Linda is an American Birkie skier since 1994; therefore, she was very interested about the SkiErg. She says “I use my Concept2 Model D with PM3 to cross-train for Dragon Boat Racing and skiing two or sometimes three times a week. This definitely helps me to maintain my fitness level for these sports with a cardio, core and strength workout. I especially love it when the weather is not cooperative or I am short on time to get to the trails or rivers and lakes.” Many workouts for the indoor rower can be done with the SkiErg as well, and below is one of Linda’s favorites.
- Warm-up 15–20 minutes.
- Speeds: Start slowly and gradually increase speed for about 50 “strokes” with a short rest between. Repeat 3 times.
- Starts: All out for equivalent of 6 hard strokes. Repeat 4 times.
- Intervals: 2-minute intervals with 3 minutes rest in between. Repeat 9 times.
- Peaking Sprint: Four sets of 60 seconds all out with 30 seconds rest, followed by four sets of thirty seconds on and 10 seconds off
- Rest for 5 minutes and repeat Peaking Sprints again.
- Warm down.
Did I mention that Wikiwikiwahine is Hawaiian for fast, fast, women? You gotta love witty names! Check them out at wikiwikiwahine.org.
I never know who I will come across, even in the middle of “nowhere” Wisconsin. That’s what I love about life; we all have a hidden talent of some sort. Maybe only a few people know, or perhaps the whole country does, but it’s quite probable someone right under your nose has no idea.