I quickly got myself into a good 2:19 pace and watched the meters go by. At every 1,000 I did ten hard pulls to push the pace a little. I changed my hand position every thousand as well – overhand, underhand, split-grip right, split grip left. Before I knew it, I was a ¼ of the way through.
I decided to take a break at 11,000 meters (at about 50 minutes) to stretch out for 30 seconds so that the rower wouldn’t time out. As soon as I stepped off the rower I got an error message and it zeroed out. Thank god for the memory feature – I still had proof of the first half. I reset it and started part two hoping it wouldn’t happen again.
An hour in and I was just shy of 13,000 meters. It was all downhill from there. I kept the pace up and the last few 3,000 meters or so seemed almost effortless. My time for the Half was 1:37:54 – which would have placed me 46th at the 2013 Crossfit Games – almost a minute ahead of Lucas Parker. It is also has me ranked 52nd in the world for my age group. I can’t believe that there are that many people who have chosen to do it without some type of gun to their head! Just so that you know, there are hundreds of people who row several million miles a year – every year! It’s their thing. I can safely say that it will not be mine.
It feels nice (and a little strange) to not row every day. I will keep logging my meters on the Concept 2 site but only to keep track of the number. It’s too much of a distraction from Crossfit and that’s what I’m here for.
For me, what it boils down to is this: I know that I will never be the strongest, fastest, most athletic, most coordinated, or most dynamic athlete around, but when it comes to things that can/need to be done every day over long periods of time – I’m there. What it also tells you is that anyone can row that million meters – you just need to apply yourself and get into a habit of sitting your butt down on that little plastic seat. Make it part of your warm up.
All it takes is 3,832 meters a day for 261 days and you’ve got it. That’s rowing 5 days a week – that’s probably less than a half hour. You’ll be ready for class and your legs and shoulders will be stronger for whatever shows up in the WOD.
All it takes is a challenge – and for you to accept it.