I don’t belong to a rowing crow at the university because I have to. It is not a requirement to follow a sport, nor is it for basic exercise. It falls into the category of a true passion. I can’t say enough about the enjoyment that comes with my time on the river. I am lucky to have this opportunity right nearby. It is all about upper body strength and stamina like any athletic endeavor with a pinch of coordination here and timing there. Thus, it is an all-around means of maintaining good health, a toned body, while having a lot of fun. Participating in tournaments is another plus.
Given that I am often found at the water’s edge, it is not surprising that things happen there. People watching as we pass by in our boats comment or ask questions. I say goodbye to my fellow rowers and plan future meetings and activities at the same time. Recently, I saw a man who was carrying his handmade wood canoe. He was such an anomaly among the college students. From where did he come? I had never seen the likes of him before.
I was aghast. This is truly a different kind of talent from mine. I wouldn’t mind learning more about woodworking, especially in regard to a vessel to practice rowing. You can make it to your specifications and finish it as you like. Sizes are pretty standard and there are waterproofing requirements. I will keep this idea in the back of my mind for future leisure time. (I might have to wait awhile, given our heavy competition schedule).
I never was a do it-yourselfer before, although my father was quite good with woodworking tools and was a member of this web site: https://www.woodworknation.com/. It is an art to make cabinets, furniture, or decorative objects. It takes practice and motivation, qualities I devoted to rowing instead. I do admire anyone who can use his hands at a craft and execute something like a wood project. Others say the same thing about me—how did I select the sport and develop the skill to excel.
I saw the man with the canoe only one other time. I took the opportunity to look his work over and inspect the canoe construction. He started talking about the process, based on old Indian lore. How does one even access such information? Technology was primitive at best. Nonetheless, the boats worked fine and served their owners well for centuries. No fiberglass for this man. He was authentic through and through. How many other items can we make ourselves that reflect the past? Going retro or off the grid is popular all of a sudden. It is fun for a while, but I would never win a race in such a vessel.