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As Rowers Move Indoors, Be Smart, Stay Motivated

BY VOLKER NOLTE
PHOTO BY ED MORAN

One year ago, no one could have imagined what 2020 would look like. Now, 10 months into a full-blown pandemic, there have been profound changes in what we can and cannot do.

For rowers, the pandemic hit home when, in early summer, one regatta after another, including the Olympic Games, was canceled.

Measures were introduced affecting all parts of our lives, including how we train and compete, and they were quite painful. But the measures were effective in decreasing infection rates across the globe.

Unfortunately, changing weather that led to more  indoor activity, the easing of restrictions, and less careful behavior have driven infection rates up again. It’s easy to understand why people are eager to resume participating in sports and are suffering from “Covid fatigue,” but the consequences of letting our guard down outweigh the short-term benefits of forgetting about the virus.

We need to support each other in staying safe and diminishing the challenges of the various restrictions. Yes, it is difficult to stay motivated when training alone or in small groups, with limited opportunity for competition, camaraderie, and motivating goals like regattas. But look for the positive side of these challenges, as small as they may be, and set goals based on your individual ability. For a competitive rower, this may mean performance improvements; for a recreational rower, better health; for a masters rower, aging well. Find what you want to succeed at, enjoy the improvements you can make, and seek the most exciting activities that will help achieve your goals.

Think about the long-term gains you can make and that now you have more time to spend on things like yoga, relaxation, and meditation, which will pay off when hectic schedules return.

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