liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Last Rowing Class, and Vocabababble: Erg

Last night was the final rowing class and my energy was so low that I laid on my back on the concrete floor, waiting for class to begin. I knew from my bike ride to the boathouse that the wind was up on the river, and the instructor was saying just that. She had us work out for a half hour on the "ergs" while a couple people carried the remainder of the oars to the dock. She said that an "erg" is a measure of work. She told us to set the ergs on the lowest possible setting, but I was disobedient, because I am so strong that if I have it set on the lowest setting, there isn't enough resistance and my stroke suffers, my rhythm is lost. I cranked for about 15 minutes, getting my heart rate up and getting a good burn in my lower core.

Finally we got to put the boat in the water. Again we didn't have a coxswain, and the instructor was ill-equipped to cox and drive the "safety launch" too. She kept yelling at us through her bullhorn to hurry up, get in the boat and push away, because there were others boats that needed to land. But perhaps because she was yelling, or perhaps because we had no cox, or perhaps because I was not the only one that was tired and cranky, our launch was a comedy of errors.

First, the ladies at the back end of the boat had swapped a couple of oars, such that a port oar was on starboard and a starboard oar was on port. A stranger, a man driving a "safety launch" for another rowboat, spotted the mistake. Our instructor just laughed at us. Then someone was trying to adjust their oarlock height and dropped the little plastic piece in the water. It was floating away but someone managed to pull it back in using an oar, and we grabbed it and got it inserted. The instructor had said at least twice that we should launch first and adjust our feet later, but people ignored her and adjusted their foot setups while on the dock.

I was irritable before all this had started, and had almost not gone to the class. The herd of ladies was so out of it that it was comical. The tide was coming in swiftly, and the wind was strong. There were a lot of boats on the water and a lot of wakes. I decided it was a good day to swim, and got in the boat and ready to go. We had trouble pushing off, because somebody pushed our boat away from the dock instead of backward along the dock as is standard. We just plain old had trouble.

The workout was the usual. We rowed "by fours" because the water was so choppy, but I was tired so I didn't want to row the whole time. Just sitting up without support is a pretty good core workout.

I notice that even from just these few classes my core is stronger, and my belly has pulled in. I like what core strength does for me. I plan to continue with three core workouts a week, even though I won't be taking the next sweep rowing class. I want to scull. I want to have two oars, and a smaller boat. I don't want to be subjected to the herd anymore. And I absolutely won't take any more classes taught by this one particular instructor. I had bragged at my therapy appointment that she doesn't bother me anymore, and in fact I have gained a measure of not caring what she does in spite of the fact that I abhor her style, but frankly, I do not need the affront of her coaching. My form and attitude are better without her.

erg = a cgs unit of work or energy; the work done by a force of one dyne acting over a distance of one centimeter

cgs = system of measurement based on centimeters and grams and seconds

ergo = therefore or consequently (adverb)

ergonomics = the branch of engineering science in which biological science is used to study the relation between workers and their environments (coined 1950 from Gk. ergon "work" (see urge (v.))

urge word origin: (1560, from L. urgere "to press hard, push, drive, compel," from PIE base *werg- "to work" (cf. Avestan vareza "work, activity;" Gk. ergon "work," orgia "religious performances," organon "tool;" Armenian gorc "work;" Lith. verziu "tie, fasten, squeeze," vargas "need, distress;" O.C.S. vragu "enemy;" Goth. waurkjan, O.E. wyrcan "work;" Goth. wrikan "persecute," O.E. wrecan "drive, hunt, pursue;" O.N. yrka "work, take effect"). The noun is first attested 1618, from the verb; in frequent use after c.1910.)
Tags: boats, core, ergonomics, fitness, rowing, vocabulary

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