I got started in rowing a year ago through a Learn to Row program at Los Angeles Rowing Club. Before that, my exercise consisted of going to the gym, walking, and various cardio classes. Although my fitness level was fine, I wasn’t particularly excited about exercise. Do you ever feel like that? You exercise because you know it’s good for you and you feel better afterwards but it’s not all that fun.
Finding a Workout I Loved
I started thinking back to a time when I exercised because I loved it and it was ice skating as a teenager. I would do just about anything to get on the ice. I was addicted to the feeling of being in the rink, the excitement of learning a new trick, and the camaraderie of the other skaters.
So why rowing? I tried sweep rowing my first semester in college. I loved the unbelievable feeling of going fast on the Charles River but it was too cold in Boston for this California girl. My fond memories did get me to talk my son into joining the junior rowing team at MAC Rowing.
While I would wait for him during his practice, I kept thinking how much I wanted to row. I found a sculling program at California Yacht Club and the sweep rowing program for adults at LARC in Marina Del Rey. They had a Learn to Row program that took place every 6 months.
Learn to Row Program
The program starts out with a Learn to Row weekend. Then after learning the basics, you become a novice for 6 months and row with the other LTRs and someone who is teaching you. Here’s how it works:
- In the Learn to Row weekend, we learned the basics of the boat, how to do a rowing stroke, and how to keep the boat balanced.
- The novice program had 3 rows per week available to us. We could sign up for as many as we wanted. I ended up doing 1-2 times a week. The program is 6 months long and an unbelievable value.
- After 6 months, you integrate into the general club membership and start rowing with intermediate rowers. The amazing part about this is that you have an opportunity to sit behind another rower and copy what they do. I learned and continue to learn on every row.
What I Love about Rowing
- Getting exercise out on the water feels amazing! There is nothing like starting your day this way.
- The muscles I’ve developed. My arms, legs, back and abs are so much stronger. It’s a noticeable difference.
- Being surrounded by a crew of 8 rowers who love what they’re doing as much as I do. There’s something about being a unit and in sync with everyone on each stroke that is very motivating.
- Feeling like an athlete. I can’t wait to start racing.
Where You Can Learn to Row
If you live in Los Angeles, contact Los Angeles Rowing Club. If you live elsewhere, there are rowing programs all over the world. In Southern California, there’s Long Beach Rowing Association, Newport Aquatic Center and San Diego Rowing Club.
If you think you’d rather just try the rowing machine or you prefer your exercise on land you can try a Rowing Workout at Revolution Fitness in Santa Monica or iRow Fitness Studio.