We're all in the same boat so let's pull together!

Posts tagged “sculling

Local Rowing or Global Rowing?

I haven’t written at all about sculling lately. There’s been nothing to write. I haven’t been out on my boat in a very long time. This is ok, I decided … after having too much angst about it for too long. I had to decide there was a reason beyond my wisdom to STOP me from pushing myself so hard physically for a season after too much injury.

Of course, I could blame it on treading in water instead of sculling on water (too much work and no play) and being fed a rich diet by a very good cook (my Venezuelan assistant who did not agree with my views on carbohydrates), but in the end, something just had to give — and for a while, it was my training.

I am supposed to be a health and fitness expert, which was great while I ran a retreat. Having all the time to do what it took to be healthy and fit then was easy. It was my “job.” I was simply monetizing my lifestyle by letting other people do it with me and pay me for it.  It’s a bit more inconvenient as you all know when you have to fit it in around doing things to pay the bills that have nothing to do with preparing organic raw food, working out, doing sports and spa treatments all day long. That’s why I decided to turn my big house again into an “eco-community.” First to surround myself again with people who want to live the way I want to live and to have trustworthy people in the house to take care of it while I travel. And it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of that soon.

I have also been taking the time again to do for myself what I know I need to do to restore my adrenals, cleanse toxins (all you have to do in this world to be toxic is breathe) from my body, AND drop a few of those carbo-pounds that have turned me into a lightweight instead of a flyweight. My wonderful MAAS Flyweight rowing shell has a low weight-limit that I am slightly exceeding at the moment.  :(

There, I’ve admitted it.

But all is well and I am still strong and fit. The important thing is that I am healthier now that I have taken a break. I am completely injury free, my joints and adrenals are happy and I am ready to build up my training again wisely and gradually — while eating the healthy organic high percentage raw and low percentage carb diet my body wants.

Meanwhile the bread-pastry-cheese-rice-pasta-ice-cream nazi Trina (she did love sprouting though … and I do take responsibility for eating what she put in front of me) is cooking fattening arepas for her mother now in Valencia, Venezuela and taking care of her after several surgeries. Soon, in advance of my arrival to Caracas, she will be testifying about my medical invention before the Ministerio of her country. She is quite familiar with my device (that she misses sooooo much being able to use since she had to leave the USA because her visa ran out) that the government of her homeland began to pursue last summer through a former colleague of hers who is high up in the current administration.

I say my arrival … it has to do with whether they invite me. They want the device, yes, but we will have to come to terms. My caveat is that it not be distributed solely in A L B A Countries, but in First World Countries too. That’s a bit sticky with the political climate between Venezuela and the US at the moment, but people need it everywhere. It’s a latin telanovela. There is nothing boring about my life!

Tune in next week to see if the much maligned, misunderstood and now mysteriously ill leader of the richest country in America’s Backyard will ever forgive the ALL POWERFUL First World Country of the Americas that is still giving his best friend’s island the Cold Shoulder long past the Cold War and just get OVER all those assassination attempts by the all-pervasive intelligence agency whose name see I aaain’t gonna mention, that may well have it’s roots in the dark past of the Es Es.

¿Y quien es el padre de Elena en la verdad? ¿Miguel? ¿Guillermo? ¿Louis?

Even more mysterious is how have I been writing all those long emails in Spanish to my Power of Attorney (El Chino) in Venezuela and understanding the emails he is writing to me. Do I have a Spanish Angel? Well soon I will have an “in-house” Spanish translator/angel visiting this week (perfect timing Universe! Thank you!) named Juan Torres. As Trina always said, my Spanish is good enough that I wouldn’t starve, but I’m not ready to go have in-depth conversations about manufacturing and technical things in Spanish when I barely know the words in English. I joke (but it’s TRUE) that when I began the process of prototyping my medical device, the only technical works I knew to google to find the components I needed were do-hickie and thinga-ma-giggy! I know more now, but I had to put myself through my own personal “engineering school” the hard way.

Juan will be here just in time to be by my side for some Skype conference calls coming up as momentum is building in the matter of manufacturing my medical device in Latin America. There are other opportunities coming at me from several directions spanning many of my projects and inventions so I will be listening closely as I am still in Quantum Superposition — as to which position to snap into next. But just so you know, I AM UNLIMITED, all is easy, and I intend to do it ALL. I’ll be making some big decisions soon. But I’m completely calm about it since all I have to do is listen. ¡Todo es fácil!

So will I be Local Rowing or Global Rowing in the next few months?

I am fully prepared and ready to go for both!  Either way it’s adventure … so if you’re also ready and feel CALLED to a life of magic and miracles and FUN, then join me!!

Get on board!


Treading IN Water Instead of Sculling ON Water

Slow rowing summer? Why? I could say life gets in the way. But the truth is, I can’t devote a lot of time to training without outside support.

Just as the Levite tribe had to go back to working their fields because the other 11 tribes weren’t ponying up the dough to support the Levites to run the temple and attend to the spiritual needs ot the rest of the tribes (read The Book of Nehemiah to verify), I have to keep treading water bootstrapping with my inventions and can’t get to the business of saving the world or even trying to draw attention to The Cosmos by setting up spectacular rowing extravaganzas.

First my mother had a stroke, which took me out of town for nearly a month and completely broke my training routine! (She’s fully recovered.)

When I got back, for another month or longer it thunder-stormed every day.

I could probably still row a marathon tomorrow, but it would be SLOW and my hands would be scolding me for doing it for a week. Best to build up by increments when I get back out on the water.

Then I got too busy working with Trina working to translate all of my medical device info into Spanish for sudden intense interest expressed in manufacturing it in Latin America, and redesigning my self-loading boat roof rack to get into production to put on the market.

As for the radical new boat design: it is still the page that gets viewed the most. I suppose a lot of people keep checking back because I promised to prototype it and to take lots of pictures and videos of the process. But I haven’t started it yet because BILLS get in the way.

Seriously … if you are interested in seeing some of my projects get launched so that everything I have to offer the world will have a the chance to financially snowball into the funding it will take to make The Cosmos a reality … feel free to show up. There’s a button on this site every time you visit it that just beacons for you to JOIN THE CLUB. You can join at a predetermined organization or individual level or contribute any amount to join as a Cosmos supporter.


Back from Sculling Haitus

36.1 Miles — 58.1 Kilometers

I only had 36.1 miles (58.1 K) in me today after not rowing in my boat Hummingbird since  April 19 … nearly 7 weeks ago when I did only 34 miles. I was planning to row 60 miles that night. The conditions were ideal. A full moon was rising just as it got dark and while I was moving, the temperature was perfect. But I got a phone call and stopped to talk. Then I got too chilled and stiff to continue. This afternoon and evening, I didn’t answer the phone, text, or even take pictures. I just rowed non-stop except for a quick pull-over to switch my running lights on at twilight. Is mine the only scull in the world that has a lit dashboard and running lights? I think it might be.


Marsh Labyrinth Sculling, 101

18.2 Miles — 29.3 Kilometers

The wind was up and only going to get worse. Gary at Lake Purdy kept telling me, but I had checked and I already knew. I told him I could handle it. (Yeah, I’m so tough.)

When I got out … windy it was. I pulled out an elastic band immediately to put around my hat to keep it on. I had intended to head straight down to the Bald Eagle nest but decided to make a run for the new Marsh Labyrinth in hopes that the wind would in fact get calmer instead of worse by the time I ventured back out into the main lake.

Once I got back there, it was a sheltered paradise. As I was only out to test my leg and work on my tan (the only sunblock I ever use is sun … I’m strangely not as fair as a Scottish lass should be) I lingered in the maze amid the wildlife. I saw all three Bald Eagles there, countless herrings, ducks, geese and even chased after a surprisingly relaxed and friendly Water Moccasin lazily swimming with his head above the water and sticking his tongue out a lot. It was forked.

I took lots of pictures. I was in no hurry to leave. There are a couple of the snake … look for them.

I managed to get at least four miles out of the Marsh Labyrinth and went places no scull has gone before. Skegless sculling means being able to go over logs or almost anything. And after rowing so much in the dark, my balance in the daylight is effortless! I can pick my way through narrow passes by raising my blades high above all obstacles or pulling them inboard all the way. It has become uncanny! I can go anywhere!

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Once I got back out into the main part of the lake … it was soooooooo windy. Oh my God was it windy. Up to 20 mph winds for the next hour. I just opened my bailer and left it open and struggled against the wind to keep up the 3 miles per hour it takes to keep the water going out as I was constantly swamped with swell after swell. There were times I was rowing as hard as I could and the Speed Coach read zero miles per hour! I tried like Jesus to talk the wind into calming down. I’m not as fast as Jesus, but it eventually worked. I kept going until dark mapping the perimeter and managed to get 18.2 miles in one lap. Now I have a GPS line to follow. When I got off the water and up to my car … this time there was a sticky note on my window with the combination to unlock the gate to get out. Thanks Gary.

He knows how I am. :)


Sculler in a Cage

I have been conspicuously silent lately in my blog posting. I have not worried about it as I still haven’t officially launched this blog. Nevertheless, it is getting traffic. And the most attention I am getting is for my new boat design still. That is an indicator I need to prototype it SOON.

I have been silent because I didn’t want to admit how I am. When I have space and time (when I am pretending either of those two things exist) I use all of it no matter what. In other words, my last row at Inland Lake … even though I thought my leg was healed and ready, it was not. At mile twenty it started to hurt and I rowed 50 miles anyway. That’s just how I am. So I have been nursing it back to health and promised myself not to push it again.

Therefore, I have to be contained. Knowing this about myself, last week I rowed at the smaller lake, Lake Purdy where the rowing club is located. It is sooooooo much easier to launch there. With all of the rain lately, it is not so little and treacherous anymore. There are new areas to explore and I spent my time (Bob joined me for half of it) exploring the new creeks where there was only marsh before, if that, while it was dry. If I hadn’t mapped it on my GPS, I would never have found my way back out. It is a labyrinth of glorious exotic beauty. I felt like I was in the marshes of Louisiana and I have never seen so much wildlife, even in the mangroves of Florida!

There is also a nesting pair of Bald Eagles there now with a baby. I am going to go see them today. As I must be contained, I am going to the little lake again that closes at 7 pm when the gates are locked. (I got locked in last week!) I will see how my leg does today with 15 or 20 miles. It hurt last week doing only 8! I am not going to train today, I am going to work on my tan. Yes, I will be “wearing my bikini of power.” They’re used to that there.

My down-time, however has been well spent corresponding, speaking on the phone, audio and video Skyping with Global Rowing Club supporters all over the country and Internationally. I have an assistant coming to work with me soon from South America and expect a visit from Michael in Germany.

Just checking in to say hi. :) I will be back later to tell you about today’s adventure.


Sculler in a Cage

I have been conspicuously silent lately in my blog posting. I have not worried about it as I still haven’t officially launched this blog. Nevertheless, it is getting traffic. And the most attention I am getting is for my new boat design still. That is an indicator I need to prototype it SOON.

I have been silent because I didn’t want to admit how I am. When I have space and time (when I am pretending either of those two things exist) I use all of it no matter what. In other words, my last row at Inland Lake … even though I thought my leg was healed and ready, it was not. At mile twenty it started to hurt and I rowed 50 miles anyway. That’s just how I am. So I have been nursing it back to health and promised myself not to push it again.

Therefore, I have to be contained. Knowing this about myself, last week I rowed at the smaller lake, Lake Purdy where the rowing club is located. It is sooooooo much easier to launch there. With all of the rain lately, it is not so little and treacherous anymore. There are new areas to explore and I spent my time (Bob joined me for half of it) exploring the new creeks where there was only marsh before, if that, while it was dry. If I hadn’t mapped it on my GPS, I would never have found my way back out. It is a labyrinth of glorious exotic beauty. I felt like I was in the marshes of Louisiana and I have never seen so much wildlife, even in the mangroves of Florida!

There is also a nesting pair of Bald Eagles there now with a baby. I am going to go see them today. As I must be contained, I am going to the little lake again that closes at 7 pm when the gates are locked. (I got locked in last week!) I will see how my leg does today with 15 or 20 miles. It hurt last week doing only 8! I am not going to train today, I am going to work on my tan. Yes, I will be “wearing my bikini of power.” They’re used to that there.

My down-time, however has been well spent corresponding, speaking on the phone, audio and video Skyping with Global Rowing Club supporters all over the country and Internationally. I have an assistant coming to work with me soon from South America and expect a visit from Michael in Germany.

Just checking in to say hi. :) I will be back later to tell you about today’s adventure.


Deluge Aftermath Pitch Dark Sculling, 101

50.5 Miles — 81.27 Kilometers

It was pure joy! It always is, no matter what I encounter. I just love to row.

It was going to be a sunny day as warm as 70º, but with winds up to 14 MPH. As far as I was concerned … that’s a rowing day. Did I get a later-than-I-wanted-start? Of course.

First, instead of getting up and getting right on the road, I did an impromptu photo shoot so I could post that picture everyone has been asking for of what I wear when I row such long distances. I think they were aiming at a picture of my Red Bikini of Power, which I will be wearing again when the temps get above 80º, but for today, it was the sleeveless cycling top and the biking shorts with suspenders I never used for cycling, but discovered is perfect for rowing. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my specific-for-rowing unisuit is spiffy, but has a seam at my waist, which defeats the purpose of having nothing binding me at my waste for long distance. It is just the thing for head races when I want to look like I am a real rower. Incidentally, I don’t use my high-tech long-distance seat-pad for real rower races as I was informed by Dave Lee, the Oklahoma boat dealer who sold me my Flyweight, that only yahoos use seat-pads. So … I know how to blend in if I need to once in a while.

The cycling bibs are perfect for colder weather rowing because as you can see in the picture, there is a panel covering the waist that anything I wear on top (additional long sleeve jerseys) can be tucked in to prevent any looseness of garments for a thumb to snag on at the finish (when the blades come out of the water at the end of the stroke). A good thumb snag could put you in the drink quick.

Then … another delay resulted from how powerful I am at manifesting my thoughts. Right before I left the house, I commented to myself: “Gee, I hope they don’t charge me today to launch. I don’t think I have enough cash.” I wish I had said: “Gee, I hope the deputy gives me a million dollars when I drive up to the lake.”

Sure as the world, for the first time, I was charged. I found out that they were just letting me in for free while the lake was closed. For both letting me in for free and just for letting me in, I am very grateful and am more than happy to pay my fee.

I proceeded with great determination and a little bit of denial to scrounge for every penny in my purse and in my car — and I came up with $4.78. I needed $5.00. I offered the deputy a check. I offered a credit card. I offered to pay the difference next time I came out. I was about to offer him a diamond ear ring … but decided to heed his suggestion and just go up the road and get some cash.

So I drove five miles further out to the closest store to buy some item with my bank card and get cash back. I bought a Double Shot with Ginseng to give to the deputy who had been so patient as I searched for way too long for that one last quarter that didn’t exist. I could not believe it wouldn’t be under a seat or SOMETHING! Anyway, everyone drinks coffee, right?

The little store charged for getting cash back, which was fine, but I commented that I only needed a quarter. So one of the girls behind the counter just gave me a quarter. Soooo sweet!

Mission accomplished, I went back and proudly counted out the three dollar bills I had and the rest in quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies for the patient deputy, to make a full $5.00 with 3 cents to spare! I offered him the conciliatory coffee drink, but … he wasn’t a coffee drinker. I should have bought him a beer (for when he got off duty). But, as it turns out, I was happy I had that double shot at about mile 35.

Now, here’s the most important thing I must mention: for a couple of days earlier in the week we had a typhoon-monsoon-deluge down-pouring of rain that all at once made up for having the driest year ever. I had the flooded basement to prove it! So the water level is almost at full pool, as they call it, and still rising.

This development provided a new challenge for placing my Little Red Dock. No more nice safe smallish rocks to tread upon. There are now only unstable tipsy boulders between me and the water. It took me a long time to get the Little Red Dock situated and stable. But I still had to deal with carrying the boat over the big rocky rocks. This was not so hard putting it in as it was 50 miles later — taking it out.

I decided that now that the water level is high enough, I am going to carry my boat the half mile or so on the nice safe flat catwalk out to the nice safe flat dock and put it in there next time.

So, here are the lessons learned in this epic adventure:

After a big storm and heavy rainfall … there is FLOATING DEBRIS … stuff floating everywhere … near the bank … out in the very middle of the lake … everywhere … like a mine field. I will go into more detail in a moment. First I have some good news and some good news … and some more good news. (And later on, even MORE good news!)

The first good news is: Bob’s boathouse floats! I sent him this picture and he got out there the next day to be sure it was securely anchored. Since the spark plugs on his boat are on the blink right now, he parked his car as close as he could on a near-by road and hiked three miles to the cabin to accomplish this necessary task. All is well, and I am proud of him.

The second good news is the lake is sooooo much bigger now. My too-close-to-the-bank-GPS-map-line is no longer too close to the bank. However, despite that wonderful fact, I discovered that Deluge Aftermath factors present new challenges.

The third good news is that I have become quite adept at a pretty slick “ALL-STOP-go-right-into-a-river-turn-(where you move both oars in opposite directions to turn the boat like a turn-table)-miss-the-new-obstacle-while-there-is-still-enough-light-to-see-it” maneuver. This came in really handy because along with the new challenge of Deluge Aftermath Floating Debris, there are scores of new dead trees that have fallen and extend quite far out from the bank, and in many cases, are just anywhere they please.

I got started shortly after 3 pm. However, as my leg injury took longer to heal than I had hoped (I even had it ex-rayed to be sure it wasn’t fractured), I had done nothing but sit with my leg up with an ice pack on it for three weeks. I didn’t even work out with weights after the first few days because doing anything exacerbated it — and I MEANT I was going to get it healed as fast as possible. I knew having a fractured left tibia would not change how I was treating it, but it would determine the time-frame before I could get back out in my boat as it would require 6-8 weeks to be in one piece again. I just needed to know. Thankfully, I just had a severe periosteal bruise from slamming into my rebounder (mini-trampoline) in the dark in my house. The rebounder is in my work-out room in the basement again where it belongs! (Now that the basement is dried out again.)

Oh, yeah … right … the rowing story …

Well, due to my long hiatus and from being preoccupied with some projects and forgetting to eat much for a few days prior, I spent the first 6 miles fiddling, taking pictures, reading and writing email and was a little too focused on eating my snacks. Plus, I had pretty much forgotten how to row. So I didn’t go as fast as I could have while there was daylight. And I didn’t really get into my rhythm until about 15 miles into it. Without any oomph in my stroke, I was cruising at an easy 6 MPH, but not for long because …

Then it got dark. At first, that was ok because there was a nice bright half-moon exactly overhead. There was still plenty of light from the moon for rowing on the lake I had rowed on three weeks before. But not for what I encountered that night. And since the moon was already high, it went down long before I finished rowing, leaving me in the pitch dark flying by instruments just following my GPS line.

Oh, more good news! When it got dark … the water was glass. It was pure joy, I tell you!

When I arrived at the leg of the lake where I first saw the Bald Eagle, I ran into a serious log-jam. What I mean is debris in the form of large branches, logs and even a few wood pilings (must have lost a few docks) were everywhere in huge patches and it was too dark to maneuver around or in between them. For miles … there WAS no in between. If I still rowed with a skeg, I would have lost it 40 times that night. I was in fear for my impeller (the little propeller attached to the bottom of the hull that tells the Speed Coach what it needs to know), but the impeller guard held up like a champ to the abuse. I had to keep it under 4 MPH in a lot of places just to get through. But I made it through and found another half mile or so of lake beyond the remote boat launch leading to a marsh I saw, but miscalculated how far away it was — and met it “up close and personal” as dimly shown in this picture:

I couldn’t help but hug the new bank and explore the many extensions of the fingers of the lake in my first lap out of sheer curiosity about what the mileage of the new perimeter was going to be. I had been getting 22.5 miles or less. That night, I got close to 29 miles! Wow, what a difference!

On my second lap, I made the decision to skip the log-jam section entirely. Wise choice.

I never laughed so much rowing in all my 20 years as I did that night on the second lap. Why? Because once it got REALLY dark, I was no longer able to use my suave stop and turn technique to miss new obstacles. It didn’t matter where I rowed … out from the bank or close. Since it became evident that in these conditions I could not go fast enough to stay warm, I put on long sleeves and decided to concentrate on good form. Just as I was speeding along at another effortless MPH from simply using my knowledge of correct sculling form, I would SLAM into a multi-branched bleached white dead tree extending out from the bank … or just anywhere it pleased to be. A few times I got so tangled it would take me five minutes, maybe more, to sea-saw my way out of it. I laughed big belly laughs every time in disbelief that I didn’t capsize. One time I ended up with my port blade (the tip of the oar in my right hand) stuck in a branch 4 feet above the water surface. That made for a few precarious moments as I balanced myself with the suddenly-imperative-didn’t-know-I-had expertise of a high-wire walker — until I could get my wrists back together and jimmy myself out of that awkward position. That was at least a five minute job. Keep in mind … the air temperature was in the low 50’s and the water temperature was still hypothermia-worthy and I was wearing the only long sleeved shirt I had on the boat — far far way from the dock, warmth and dry clothes.

Even if I had tried to keep count of how many times I ran into dead trees or slammed into floating debris, I would have lost count. I will estimate 20 times on the dead trees and at least 40 for the debris. Debris example here.

That evening I decided to install an abacus on my rigging and make a call to Maas Boat Works to ask if ANYONE has ever turned one of these things over. I can only surmise that Maas Flyweights DO NOT CAPSIZE. What a perfect boat for me to train in as I prepare to attain the Much Sought-After, Recognized, Publicized, Pinnacle of Rowing Glory … the Title of the World’s Longest Distance Sculling Record-Holder of all time! (Please don’t forget why I am doing this.)

Then disaster struck! I learned yet another valuable lesson: just because the battery in your iPod looks full, unless you JUST recharged it … it is not. My music quit at mile 35. I had no choice but to keep rowing as I was some distance from the dock. I kept hearing water rushing and wondered if I had punctured the hull and there was water inside. But then I realized it was just the boat going through the water. I hadn’t heard it all that much before. I spent the next 15 miles to try to think of how many times I had rowed without music … and realized I had a lot, like when I teach in a double or row along with a friend for a few miles and chat. And a couple of head races where music is not allowed and earphones would make me look like a yahoo. I got used to it and experienced a new kind of sheer joy.

After the music died (I am not referring to Elvis), I heard a lot of little water falls and even the sounds of wild life. Also … this was another new experience: the Loch Ness monster leapt out of the water a bunch of times near the boat! Or maybe it was the alligator following me around.

Even skipping the log-jam, I only had to row a small extra loop to reach my goal of 50 miles. By then, I was glad to be near the finish as the wind decided to kick up pretty strong.

The Little Red Dock was almost submerged when I got back to it with the water level still rising fast. It really was a trick to get my boat the few feet over the perilous boulders on my well-earned wobbly legs to load it on the car. I took my time.

I have always kept my car pristinely clean in my garage before this winter when I switched lakes and decided to keep the boat on the car. Having a boat on top is a determent to taking it through car washes. So thanks to that Double Shot with Ginseng I mentioned earlier, I took a little time while still parked on the ramp to use my wet rags and the dew on the car to give it a pretty convincing wash!

This was the most eventful and adventurous row yet. It also took me all night. I felt fine so I decided to stay up all day and write stuff in Spanish (or what I imagine is Spanish … no sé, but my multi-lingual International supporters have informed me that it doesn’t suck) … and just go to bed early Sunday night. I had a wonderful day.

By the way, I checked the US Rowing Rules for doping and Double Shots with Ginseng was nowhere on the list. Whew!