The Royal Henley Regatta allowed gentlemen to remove their jackets today because of the heat, but ties and cravats are still required in the Stewards Enclosure. I’m dressed in layers of clothes in front of the fire in a cottage in northern Michigan, in between rows on a gray chilly day. We’re told we should see the sun this afternoon and temperatures in the seventies by tomorrow. All is right with the world.
We‘re just finishing two weeks of what has become our perfect vacation – sculling camp. What more can a rower ask for? On the water three times a day, meals prepared and waiting for you when you get off the water, and even an afternoon nap. Evenings watching the sun set over the lake around a campfire telling regatta stories and if you’re lucky, a sighting of the northern lights. There’s even enough free time to explore the surrounding area and its tourist sites, restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries… But I digress…
We’ve been campers and coaches at Black Bear for a number of years now, and there are many other camps and clinics out there too that I’m certain will give you a similar experience. I always come away from camp with something to make me a better rower and coach and a new energy about this sport.
Sometimes it’s a coach just using a different word or gesture than the way you’ve heard it explained before that can be the “Aha!” you need to make a change in how your body takes the stroke. Or you’ve grown enough in your rowing knowledge that the same language, repeated another time (or many times) finally clicks. Often it’s just a different voice that makes the difference. The same works for coaches as we look for a better way to verbalize what we want to see, take the time to talk to rowers who are asking detailed questions that help us refine our ideas, and hang out with other coaches and rowers to learn how their programs are run.
I’m looking forward to taking this summer’s learning home and putting it into practice!