Reflections on art, fitness, family, politics and literature that hit me like bricks as I chauffeur my children from place to place...
A pink taxi
February 4, 2012
Rowing down History:A Vignette
The trainer summoned me to the detested rowing machine. He does that frequently on a circuit. He usually punches in a number close to 200 meters and he stands by, arms crossed, in tyrannical encouragement. I then strap my feet, get a hold of the handle and row. I don't usually look at the little monitoring screen, in my focus to push and strain.
This morning, the trainer punched in the numbers, I sat and strapped my feet, looked at the monitor quickly and told him: "you put a zero too many"
- No I didn't. You are going to row 2000 meters today in less than 10 minutes.
- but I have never rowed for that long...."
Before I knew it, handle in hand, hand attached to chain, chain attached to small seat, I was rowing downwards from 2000, the year my son was born. All I could see were dates, 1980, 1970....my birth! I laughed out loud: "am I rowing downwards in history?" The idea entertained me, took my mind off the harder physical exertion.
I was reaching the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. I remembered 1789! And I kept rowing, 1600 more meters. I was at the hight of the Renaissance. I dreaded the dark ages, the Medieval period, spanning from 1400 to 700. But I did recall Andalucia, and I remembered the rise of Islam. But then my knowledge of history dwindled. I didn't know what the first 4 centuries represented. I was no longer distracted. I had to push now to remain in good timing.
I told myself: you have rowed through 16 centuries of history, what are another 4 more obscure ones? Before I knew it I had finished in 9mins and 56 seconds. I had reached the birth of Jesus Christ!
The pink taxi runs from 7 am to 7pm. It picks and drops off my 3 kids at school, ballet,judo, aikido, violin, climbing, riding, squash, basketball, skiing, skating, swim team, friends, grandparents and teachers. The car, not pink, but a black SUV, drives to Carrefour and Coop. To Club stretch for pilates and Aviation club for weekly workouts. It is driven by a woman who navigates on the radio, gets DJed by her 4 year old or sometimes quietly reflects. The thoughts are about politics, family, humor, literature, art or fitness. Sometimes they are excruciatingly longwinded, other times they are gossipy and hot.
I hope you will all enjoy!