After 35 years of life as a tall person, I thought I was well acquainted with and fairly adept at avoiding and/or compensating for all the hazards of being tall. Today, I came face-to-face with a brand new, here-to-for never thought of, hazard. Several months ago, I joined the Three Rivers Rowing Association and took up rowing crew. In all subsequent classes, we were busy learning form, technique, safety, rules, regulations and such. Tonight was the night we had all been anticipating, we were handling the boats and going out on the river for the first time. I was completely stoked.
That is, until we picked up the boat.
We lined up aside our boat on the rack in the boathouse and on the coxswain’s command, pulled the boat onto our shoulders to walk it down to the dock. I should mention here, that at 6 ft tall, I’m approximately 5 to 9 inches taller than everyone on my team with the exception of one other person. I hadn’t really given a whole lot of thought to the physics of carrying a boat with such extraordinary height disparity amongst team members until the second the majority of the entire weight of the boat hit my shoulder. I nearly buckled.
I did manage to make it the 200-or-so yards down to the water where we put in – and I even managed to enjoy every second that we were on the water. It was so amazing to feel the breeze as we moved along the water and see the sun setting on the city in front of us. I want to get a picture so badly, but I’m too scared to take my phone in the boat with me… but it looked something like this: http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc65859.php .
As we docked and I remembered that we still had to return the boat to its rack in the boathouse, I thought of my throbbing shoulder and my shaky legs and I let out a little whimper. I managed to make the return trip to the boathouse as well, but my shoulder is not happy with me at all. I’m hopeful that next week, the instructors will be able to help me find a more comfortable way to carry, because while I absolutely love being on the water, I’m not sure that I love it quite enough to endure that feeling on a regular basis.
Oh, the hazards of being tall.