Wham! (‘I’m your man’)

Just watching a bit of TOTP from 1985 – to the youngsters out there that’s Top of the Pops – a British music chart tv programme produced by the BBC and I do believe it was broadcast on a Thursday evening around 7.30pm? It was akin to ’Sounds Like Friday Night’ recently broadcasted on the BBC on a Friday night, surprisingly!

Anyway, I digress!
So Wham suddenly took me back to my college days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W0d9xMhZbo

In our first year Wham were playing at Whitley Bay Ice Rink and our ‘team” had tickets – except for Elaine (my roomie) she was ‘into’ Prince – Purple Rain and all that – do you know red and blue bubble bath do not make purple bubble bath? Mmmm that’s a story for another day!

To cut this long story short (thank goodness I hear you all saying) a ticket became available last minute and Elaine joined us on our travels from Scarborough to Whitley Bay, somewhat reluctantly I might add – probably the first case of FOMO ever recorded!

Oh what a night that was – this sort of concert was BIG TIME – I’d previously only seen The JoBoxers at Middlesbrough Town Hall!
One of our male teamies, Russell was convinced he was using the urinal next to the duo in the ice rink – REALLY???? Surely they had their own facilities.

Anyway our lasting memory is Wham played ‘Last Christmas’ ( it was December!) live for the very first time and WE WERE THERE! And I have the programme somewhere to prove it – obvs!

We also nearly lost Pam in Guisborough as she crossed the road behind the coach when we had stopped for a comfort break (it was called a toilet stop back in the day!)

So… Wham … reminded me of my college buddies and the challenge I set just over a month ago.

To recap we have booked our annual get together in Chester and we will be having an Oarsome rowing session at some point over the weekend at Warrington Rowing Club.

We talked about it this year and I’m not convinced the girls believed me when I said I could arrange the rowing bit but I have and they have been notified!

I had lots of comments about the first blog. All appreciating what great friendships we have nurtured over the years and some comments suggesting they might actually take this seriously:-

Suzie:- ‘I cannot wait for the rowing challenge and will be found in the gym or the office chanting A B L L B A over the next 11 months until we meet up again’.

I am proud of Suzies commitment – lets hope Suzie chants this while ON the rowing machine!

Pam:- ‘Looks like we’ve really got to do it now!’ – yes I really meant it Pam!

Paula:- ‘Wow! Sooooo excited! A whole 50 weeks of anticipation! What an ‘oarsome’ challenge to look forward to! Wouldn’t want to share it with anyone else!’ – except my rowing buddies obvs hey Paula?

Caroline:- ‘Wow -how blessed we are to have our so very very special friendship…can’t wait for Chester and the rowing.

And Caroline spent her birthday watching rowers in Stratford so watch out girls I think she will have a head start on you lot!

As all good teachers know we need a plan with some learning objectives and outcomes and strategies for all levels of learners. Mmmm well I’m working on that one but in the meantime I will set you some homework.

Now that you have all committed to this challenge I just know that you have been beetling off down to the gym a couple of times a week and churning out the ‘arms, body, legs,…’ chant as you breathlessly practise the technique on the erg so you’ll have perfect skills by May 2019.

I think you might require some direction for some pieces on the erg.
You will have noticed while erging that the monster ( haha  bloomin’ auto correct I meant moniter!) shows you strokes per minute and you can set it for timed pieces, amongst other things so with this in mind maybe you could try the following piece

3 minutes @ rate 18

2 minutes @ rate 20

1 minute @ rate 22

I know this will all be making perfect sense to you because I know just how committed you are and you wouldn’t want to let me down so after you have done this on a couple of visits maybe you could do the piece twice with a 2 minute break.

Remember to take a photo of the moniter and post it in the comments section of the blog – then we can see how we are all progressing ;))

Also next weekend 21st – 24th June the 2018 World Rowing Cup II takes place in Linz Ottensheim in Austria and will be filmed live on the BBC over and above the Football World Cup.

I’m actually joking but it probably will be streamed live and if you miss that do not worry you can follow this link http://www.worldrowing.com/photos-videos/ and find fab videos of this event and many others where you can study the greatest athletes at work and copy their technique.

Watch out for Emily Ford and Jess Leyden they are northern rowers who Beth used to compete with and against!! Cheer them on!!

Keep me posted ladies – I would love to hear about your progress and some photos would be a billy bonus.

Keep that fantastic training up and always be OARSOME!!!!!

Always Oarsome

Gill

P.S. Couldn’t find my Wham programme but thought this might do – Nick Heyward – The Apollo, Manchester 1985

Steady. Consistent. Synchronicity. Teamwork.

This weekend at rowing training, we did twice our usual distance on each day, and just rowed, steady state, no fancy bits, no drills.

Just rowed.

Together.

Steady. Consistent. Powerful.

No stopping.

Here is a quick video that our coach took of us square blading. (This is a technique which promotes balance and focus. This was about 15km in on day two so we were getting tired!

Oh and our coach isn’t the most technically proficient and so it changes from portrait to landscape half way through! Treat yourself to a lie down if you get that far 😉 )

This steady state, consistent rowing, getting extra miles on the water, helps a crew really get together. To work together to get the synchronicity that ultimately makes the boat go faster. It doesn’t happen straight away.

It takes hard work. It takes commitment. It takes hours and hours rowing together on the water.

Such consistency and steadiness is important in business and teamwork.

It’s important to take time to learn how to work together, get used to each other, understand each other’s styles and needs and get into the ha it if fully supporting each other and working together to achieve the common goal.

Wow we LOVE rowing. And we LOVE teamwork!

 

When Always Oarsome met Rowing The World!

Last week Gill and I had the absolute pleasure to meet Ruth Marr from Rowing the World. (Check out their website – it’s OARSOME!)

Ruth was visiting the UK to check out some new destinations for her amazing rowing tours.

It’s always fab to meet people who are just as passionate (aka bonkers!) about rowing and as keen as us to introduce as many people as possible to our fabulous sport. And especially when they are as lovely as Ruth.

During her time in the North of England, Ruth visited several rowing clubs (including Windermere, Lakeland and Runcorn), finishing off her tour at Warrington Rowing Club (Always Oarsome rowing HQ).

We were delighted to show her our clubhouse, fleet of boats and most of all, to introduce her to Mrs Mersey.

Due to time restrictions, we were unable to do this in a rowing boat on this occasion, but we took Ruth out on a launch to show her our beautiful stretch of water.

Check out our brief interview with Ruth (this was BEFORE her tour of The Mersey)

We can’t wait to continue to explore collaboration opportunities with Ruth and Rowing the World.

Watch this space folks!

Challenge NRC

26th September 1984

111 fresh faced 18 – 21 year olds, with a couple of mature students thrown in, arrive at North Riding College (NRC) in Scarborough to enrol on a Batchelor of Education Degree course with Honours.

I was very excited to be moving away from home – it felt sooo grown up. My dad took me to open a bank account and then left me to unpack. I was a tad wary at this point because I was sharing a room with someone – probably unheard of today, sharing a room that is!

To cut along story short my room mate and I got on like a house on fire and are still good friends today. Remember it was the olden days back then so we didn’t have mobile phones or laptops or tablets. We didn’t want to stay in our rooms contacting friends from home and comparing stories – we did this by writing letters!!!!!!! So we had to get out there and make friends.

Elaine (my room mate) and I did this by knocking on all the doors on our corridor as we went down for dinner. Yep fully catered, three meals a day plus morning coffee and afternoon tea!!! Also unheard of today. I’m sure we had the best deal.

So those girls (the halls were not mixed sex!) who joined us became our friends throughout the four years. You could say our team!

On graduating we moved to all corners of the UK and met up for hen do’s, weddings, Christenings, and big birthdays! We couldn’t all make every get together because we might have been giving birth, breast feeding or dealing with another major life event but we tried our best.

Once all these occasions were over we came to a decision – we would meet up every May Day bank holiday ( easy to remember!). We began by staying in hotels in various cities – enjoying the night life and convenience of travel opportunities. It then became apparent that we didn’t want to share the hotel lounge with others or maybe they didn’t want to share it with us hollering and screaming AKA having a good time so we began booking houses. We have this down to a fine art now – when we meet up we spend some time booking our next venue. It’s great everyone is there to agree with the choice.

We’ve all had traumas along the way and been there to support each other throughout the years.

Jump forward thirty four years – yes unbelievable -THIRTY FOUR YEARS!

Last weekend found those nine girls (uh um!) meeting up at Tom’s Barn in Cheltenham for our annual get together.

We arrive individually throughout the afternoon. Suzie arrives with dinner ready made – even down to the jacket potatoes being scrubbed and prepared! Pam arrives with home made cakes and enough eggs (from her chickens) to last a week! I’ve done the big shop with enough food to feed an army! Everyone else arrives with bits and pieces we might just need especially gin!

Our watering holes are all booked in advance – eating features very highly on our list of activities – in fact it’s only beaten by drinking gin. In fact they are the two main activities of the weekend!

And so it begins – one giant therapy session that lasts the whole weekend. You can’t beat it. We laugh and cry together. Our faces ache by the end of the first evening as we regale tales of the past year.

Most of our weekend was spent in the garden as the weather was magnificent. Those lazy days and me parping on about rowing (surprising – I know!) got us all thinking. Well I think it was Paula who started it, or maybe Michelle, or was it Suzie? Anyway someone said they’d quite like to have a go at this rowing malarkey and could I arrange it?

WHAT? ARE YOU MAD? OF COURSE I COULD!

The next hour was spent with me coaching an erg session on the lawn – explaining some rowing terms and technique. When they get home, they’ll be joining a gym and practising the ‘arms, body, legs’ mantra – apparently!!!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not easy to replicate the slide movement while sitting on a blanket on the grass! We gave it a good go! And I can safely say I believe that by the end of May Bank holiday 2019 my athletes will be Tokyo ready.

Later that afternoon we booked a house for next year in Chester – close enough to Warrington for our fast track learn to row course.

I’ve checked it out with the club and got the go ahead so here I am laying down the gauntlet to the class of ’84.

WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS!

Warrington Rowing Club is booked, I’ve already got agreement from members that they will come and help me – only one thing left to do and that is to get a training plan in place.

Let’s go girls!

Each month I’ll send you some ‘homework’ and would greatly appreciate your feedback – in fact i expect nothing less. Comments, photos and videos will be most welcome.

So for June I would like you to go to our Always Oarsome blog and read the blog titled

Arms, body, legs, legs, body, arms’.
This will give you an introduction to our chosen activity.

I also think it would be useful to start doing some gentle stretching exercises in preparation for the big weekend.

Just fifteen minutes a day while you’re watching TV, marking books, covering playground duty, revising health and safety papers, cleaning out the chickens, waiting for your child to finish guitar lessons, demonstrating emergency crash landing procedures or demonstrating restraint strategies. I’m sure you can all find an appropriate time slot!

Good Luck and be Oarsome!!!!

Pure good fun and team work

BR umpire(TC) “ I could do with a pint of whatever they were on 🙂 They claimed to be sober… hmmm!”

Response from one of said WRC rowers “ …Not a drop despite what TC says. Pure good fun and great team spirit.”

Northwich Spring Head, Easter Sunday and April Fools day all in one!

When we think of Easter we think Spring and feeling the warmth of the sun on our faces. Well Easter Sunday fell on April Fools Day this year and we were fooled early in the day. The sun was shining and the landing stage at Northwich Rowing Club was buzzing with competitors ready to boat but we were warned at the coxes meeting not to be fooled “it was jolly cold out there on the water!”

The Masters Ladies from Warrington Rowing Club were out in force racing two singles and two quads. It was our first race in months and we were very excited.

 

A small glitch early on when one of our rowers got lost finding the club. Fortunately Northwich very helpfully delayed the start for a short time and with the help of team mates rigging the boat, and putting it on the water our Gloria took to the water and raced. Probably not the best preparation but she didn’t let that stop her. Straight up to the start, a quick turnaround and race back down. Bravo Gloria!!

Our other single rower – an experienced competitor – Sian had an oarsome race and came home with a medal. These were no ordinary medals but wooden ones made from the old boat house recently demolished to make way for new!

And so the quads took to the water. A healthy set of entries in our category – six in all.

What most people don’t realise about rowing is just how sociable it can be.There were about forty crews in our division so it takes a while for them to boat and plenty of time is given over to everyone getting up to the start (we basically row the course backwards to get there!) and then each crew has to turn around and sets off individually under starters orders as this is a timed race.

So as you sit at the start you are surrounded by your competition. You have two options here- either stare them out and try to scare them off or have a jolly good chin wag!

Obviously we chose the latter and by the time the umpires were shouting “Warrington Go!” we had a pretty good idea that the crew we were chasing down the river were going to give us a good race. It seems that this crew have trained and raced together for some years and were very successful but we gave it our best shot!!

We had a great race with a good start and we kept the momentum going all the way through. We didn’t let York get away. Head races are tricky as you can’t tell if you’ve won until the results come out unless of course you overtake your competition (which we didn’t!). Lots of support from the river bank kept us going.

Both quads were  buzzing when they came off the water, we had done our best and it felt good.

The results were out before we had even de rigged our boat and York had beaten us, the Smile quad so we came in second – no medals for us today!

This didn’t deter us. It was time for a bacon butty!!!! After bacon butties, cups of tea and scrummy cakes we went to watch the next division and the banter continued.

We were disappointed that we didn’t win but we had an oarsome race and on congratulating the York crew we had decided on a rematch at a future York event.

So to sum up the day it was “pure good fun and great team spirit!”