Today I attended the Southern Sprints, an indoor rowing regatta raced on ergometers (rowing machines).
For those of you who aren't familiar with the sport of rowing, it is one of the most physically challenging sports you can participate in. It's difficult to describe so take a look at this video:
The majority of the power for a stroke comes from the legs, then the back and arms.
I rowed back in high school. I really enjoyed the feel of rowing a boat and would like to do it again. So, I've been talking to Tim Edsell about adaptive rowing which is rowing for people with disabilities, and he asked me to come down and watch the adaptive rowers compete.
There were three adaptive rowers competing in two events, 1000 meters and 500 meters. They were only using their arms and shoulders on the ergometer. The other rowers were using their arms, trunk, and legs for a distance of 2000 meters. As I watched Tim, Laura Schwanger from Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing, and Dani Sapiro of Jacksonville, Fl row their race using only their arms and shoulders, my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with awe. I KNOW how hard it is to row when one is perfectly healthy and can use one's legs and back. These three were doing it with only their arms and shoulders. I'm not sure that I could do that.
They're heroes in my book. A inspiring example of not giving up and living life to the fullest NO MATTER WHAT.