February 01, 2007
Competition is an incredible motivator. But even when the on-water season is over and rowing moves indoors for the winter, there are plenty of opportunities for competition, both against others and with yourself. In February of 1982, less than six months after Concept2 made our first rowing ergometer, a group of Olympic oarsmen in Boston organized the first "fun" indoor rowing competition. A friend called us and said, "We are going to hold a race on six of your ergs. Come on down and have some fun... Oh, and can you bring some T shirts for prizes?" I only wish I had come up with the idea. Today, rowers all over the world gather at these indoor rowing events, the largest of which involve more than 2000 people, many of whom have never rowed on the water. They come to test themselves in an atmosphere that literally pulls their best performance out of them.
I will be participating in this year’s C.R.A.S.H.-B (Charles River All-Star Has-Beens, named by and for its founders in 1980) international world indoor rowing championships at the end of February in the 55-to-59 age group. At 55, I regard being on the young end of that range as just more pressure to do well. This is a 2000-meter race, but my take on how to approach a race would be the same for a 500-meter or 30-minute test.