Concept2 is full of athletes. Some of these athletes come from the core sports of our business like rowing, Nordic skiing and cycling. Others are CrossFitters, runners, equestrians, golfers, snowboarders and tennis players. For the employees who haven’t spent much time in a boat, we make sure to offer the opportunity each summer. This year, we headed up to Craftsbury Sculling Center so that our employees with less experience behind the oar could try rowing.
Since all of our employees have spent some time rowing indoors, it’s always fun to hear their impressions of rowing in a boat on the water. For some of our newer employees, this was their first time sculling!
For novices, Craftsbury requires a safety test where the athlete must fall out of the boat and self-rescue (with some guidance). This can be an anxious start for some, but Alexis in Customer Service confirmed, “It wasn’t that bad at all, of course it helped that the water was refreshing!” We were lucky to have perfect nights to row: sunshine, no breeze, warm water.
After the self-rescue, each athlete was assigned a boat suitable for their size and ability. Coaches on hand from Craftsbury and Concept2 helped launch off the docks. John, from our IT Department, enjoyed “actually going somewhere! Skipping the oar blades across the water sounds cool.” Similarly, Ted (Global Team) loved “feeling the force and speed over the surface of the water at the end of the drive phase.” Indeed, most folks agree that nothing beats the sights and sounds of rowing outdoors—including rowing alongside the local loons!
There was a lot of respect for competitive rowing among our participants: “It seemed easy to learn but will take longer to master,” explains John. After a few nights of rowing, athletes were able to string together sets of strokes and get a feeling for the coordination of the boat, water and oars. An echoing comment was the awe at coordinating everything to stay balanced. “I really enjoyed how the more I rowed the more my mind and body came together to learn balance, technique and how to relax with the stroke,” explained Kate (Global Team).
The biggest difference everyone noted between rowing indoors and outdoors was the coordination of hand movements. “Mastering where my hands should go and paying attention to rotating wrists (to put the blades in the right direction) was a lot different in the boat instead of the indoor rower,” explains Ted, who may have gone swimming during his adventure. Ted also mentioned grip: “Concentrating on keeping one hand above the other, instead of simply holding onto the indoor rower handle,” makes rowing in a shell more of a challenge. “I felt my legs had a whole new purpose being on the water. It puts a whole new perspective and feel when going back to the indoor rower,” Alexis added.
Many Concept2 employees are now back on the indoor rower participating as a team in the Fall Team Challenge. We’re not jumping for joy off the dock this time of year, but we’re always enthusiastic for supporting our team!
If you’re interested in learning how to row on water, we provide several resources for boathouse open houses and camps. Give rowing a try!