I used to live right on the Atlantic Ocean. It was wonderful to be so close to the sea. Not a day would go by where I didn't see it, hear it, or at least smell it. In college I regularly biked along the scenic shoreline, longing to be out on the water. My school didn't offer rowing, something I'd previously enjoyed in high school, so I had to be content to be close to the water. It wasn't until after college that I discovered the local outrigger canoe club, a more affordable option than the pricey Boston rowing clubs.
For a number of years I was happy paddling in one of our club's six-man, ~400lb (~180kg) boats. Then I started paddling doubles and singles privately with my coach and his wife and began to dream of one day buying a single for myself. Budget and storage issues prevented this, but I did invest in a great rowing machine that kept me in shape during the off-season and let me compete annually in a major indoor rowing competition, the C.R.A.S.H.-B's.
Lake Champlain Challenge in Vermont and the 15 mile Liberty Challenge -where we had to paddle under NYC's Brooklyn Bridge and out to the Statue of Liberty. Those were great, but my favorite was the longest and most scenic race: the 20+ mile Blackburn Challenge. This is also happened to a local race for me as it circumfrenced the island I lived on.
Last summer I had the chance to witness the race again. One of our friends had volunteered his boat as a chase boat, so I was able to join he and another friend for the morning. We had the first position on the race course and were able to watch over 200 boats and nearly 300 participants paddle by. Then we began motoring along the course, pausing to say hello or cheer on friends and old paddling buddies. Spending those hours out on the water was easily one of the highlights of my summer.
So I've been trying a few new things. Staying fit is important and it's something I've been slacking on. We're slated to have some friends do a little outdoor photography session with us this summer and it's nice to have a goal in terms of wanting to improve how I look in pictures. I don't think I look horrible, but the main thing is I know I can look better and be healthier, so I'm aiming for a return-to-healthy.
What about you? What sports do you enjoy? What keeps you motivated to stay healthy?