Rowing disappointment

The beauty of sculling on the river.

Last summer when I moved to Switzerland I was, despite the excitement of the new adventures I’d encounter there, sad to be leaving New Hampshire during the prime season for rowing (sculling) on the river. So I was, this summer, looking forward to returning to the river to resume rowing in late July. The first few weeks were wonderful, as I slowly built up my strength and re-tuned my skills for rowing on the Connecticut River where it flows beside our home. It was not to last.

Then one morning I was feeling good and decided that I was back to full strength and was ready to push further – double my usual distance. Not true, as it happens. On my return trip my lower back was in extreme pain, and I pushed through it to get myself home.

Four days later I felt sufficiently better to make a short hike to Mount Pemigewassett. Then I did some weeding in the yard and – boom! – my back blew out. Extreme pain.

I spent the next seven weeks sitting, just sitting. No rowing. No hiking. No yardwork. Lots of ibuprofen and heating pads. Watching the river, and an unprecedented series of calm, warm, dry days passing by, the prime season for sculling (mid-August to mid-September).

Finally, today I set out for a short, tentative scull up the river and back. A flock of Canada Geese flew overhead in V formation, heading south for the winter. A hot-air balloon drifted across the river, silently gliding over the fall foliage. It’s good to be back on the water, though only with a few weeks left in the season. The photo above is from 6pm this evening.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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