SO freaking happy to have a blister! Yes, it means I was holding the oar too tightly. Yes, it tingles and is sensitive to the touch. Yes, I am keeping it clean so it doesn't get infected by any funk that lives in the Potomac River. And, YES, it felt great to be back on the water.
Many years ago, a most phenomenal rower, Billy Cox, approached me after my very first regatta- I was sweep rowing (one oar)-and said we need to row together sometime. After totally soaking him practice after practice (learning how to scull- 2 oars), I had to leave crew so I could work and be there for my kids. But, we kept in touch on Facebook. Last year when I announced my plans to participate in the Great Pacific Race, Billy showed up at my initial Happy Hour- full of support and sage advice. He also said if I ever wanted to go out on the water to just let him know- he'd take me out.
I was all set to row this summer...until I hurt my shoulder...but then my shoulder healed and today, after a good 3 or 4 years, I got back in the boat with Billy and we rowed. Now, I am not saying it was all that beautiful- Billy had more than his share of straightening out the boat when I ended up pulling harder on my starboard side, or when I totally missed catching water on my port side...but I rowed and I listened to Billy...relax, cup the oar handles, let the oars find their place in the water, relax...
My technique is a little rough, but it is there. Rowing is in my body- my muscles know what to do. I just have to get my brain out of the way and listen to the water, the oars click in their oarlocks, and to Billy- relax...relax.