Today’s programming contains workouts at both ends of the rowing and training spectrum. There is a 50min row with varying stroke ratings to build rhythm, form, and cardiorespiratory endurance. There is a strength and conditioning workout with front squats and wall climbs to develop strength and bear crawls and double unders to develop endurance. Last but not least there is a lift to develop strength in the shoulders. How do you choose what to put into your workout and where do you spend your time?
In order to help answer that question I like to think about pro athletes. What do they have that allows them to know what to do in a given day? They have professional coaches. They’re getting paid to figure it out and they have all day. They have awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, bodies, and minds.
So can we be pro athletes? Yes, no, and maybe. It is possible these days for any athlete no matter what level to get a coach to help figure things out. It’s probably not possible for everyone to get paid to train or more importantly to have enough time to fit everything in. Last, it may be possible for any athlete to be aware of their strengths, weaknesses, bodies, and minds, but it’s up to them to have an open mind, feel what’s happening, and be willing to reflect on a regular basis.
The short answer to what you should choose to do today is to work on your weaknesses. Do you need more endurance? Focus on quality and form in the Rowing Block. If you need to become more athletic and build some strength and power then focus on the Fitness and Strength Blocks.
However, if you’re like me and you want to continuously improve then the short answer isn’t always good enough. In order to become more like pro athletes we must strive to find good coaches. We must find teams and training groups that will hold us accountable and push us. Lastly, we must make the time to reflect on what we’re doing and how we can do it better.
I bring all of this up because today I had the privilege of working with a rower who has been on a mission to solve a back injury, continue to row and compete, and do whatever she wants to in life. She’s done it by acting like a pro athlete. She’s worked with various coaches, doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and specialists. She’s joined a boathouse and a team to help push herself. Lastly, she’s made time to get to practice early and stay late to think, feel, and figure out what is limiting her through reflection, strength training, and mobility.
The question that she brought up today is one that I continually ask myself. Why can’t everyone be pro athletes? Why can’t athletes find coaches who care and use positivity and constructive criticism? Why don’t athletes take the time to learn new skills and tools for getting stronger and recovering? Why do athletes limit themselves to one sport instead of cross training and becoming more well-rounded?
I know not everyone has these problems, but I hope that with Renegade Rowing I can help more athletes learn new skills, develop more awareness, and become firsthand athletes who continually learn and reflect.
If there is something you’re looking for or don’t understand, please let me know and I’ll do my best to get you an answer and improve the tools that Renegade Rowing has to offer.
Have an awesome weekend and stay warm if you’re in New England!