A pink taxi

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!


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  3. I love this! I have never thought of it this way...next time I row a 2K I'll be sure to keep this mindset.