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Palms Up | Rowing Information


BY ANDY ANDERSON
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER

Expensive Physician Rowing,

March has been a depressing month to be rowing in Massachusetts, however I’ve been loving it regardless of all of the chilly and rain. I don’t know if I might have finished it with out my trusty pogies. I used to be given them for Christmas (Thanks, Mother!) and they’re nice! One query: why are they referred to as this? 

Sincerely, 
Heat, dry palms


In case you’re from Florida chances are you’ll not know what pogies are, however absolutely all my readers within the civilized world learn about these great fleece-lined clothes. They’ve a gap that enables an oar deal with to journey inside, so {that a} rower can grip the deal with together with his or her naked fingers, affording an excellent grip with out sacrificing safety from the weather. Being old style, it took me some time to acknowledge their worth; once I first noticed them, they appeared like yet another instance of the decadence of our society. Rowing makes us robust. We aren’t in search of sybaritic pleasures. 

However I’ve modified my tune. I noticed that pogies enable rowers to grip the oar a lot better; they permit us to remain on the water safely and get extra high quality work in. I don’t hear any complaints about chilly fingers. Certain, it’s arduous to teach an individual who’s carrying them.  You may’t see what their palms are doing below these sheaths. However in comparison with what we used to do within the ‘70s—put on tube socks on our palms—pogies are a lot, a lot better. 

Within the early years, they weren’t mass-produced and rowers used to knit their very own. The Geer sisters have been famend for his or her knitted pogies and my very own spouse, Mrs. Physician Rowing, took needles in hand to make some.

And to what can we owe their identify?  Like all attention-grabbing phrase, there are a variety of theories, various tales. I trawled the web and found that most individuals attribute their invention to a kayaker named Billy Nutt. In 1974, he made the primary ones in order that he might maintain an excellent grip on his paddle however maintain his palms dry. Voila! For some cause, the legend goes that he needed a reputation that sounded ridiculous, so he referred to as them pogies, quite a lot of bait fish. The identify actually caught on when one other kayaker began promoting them below the identify Bonnie’s Sizzling Pogies.

That’s proper, our boating cousins, kayakers additionally use them. So do winter cyclists. Since fats tire bikes have began to plow via snowy fields, pogies on handlebars have been all the fashion.

However approach sufficient, kayakers. One commenter on an internet web page mentioned, “Pogies/pokies is an outdated Scots’ phrase for mittens (the precise spelling would rely in your native dialect). Once I was a bairn within the ‘60s, my mom would make us put on pogies to highschool.”

Scottish by means of kayak?  Sounds proper to me. They usually say outdated canines can’t study new methods.

Expensive Physician Rowing,

I’ve acquired an issue. I’m very uncomfortable within the seat that I’ve earned in our eight.  It appears to me that I’m rigged too low. It’s arduous for me to complete the stroke and I find yourself digging deep when I attempt to raise the deal with on the end. You’ll in all probability inform me to speak to my coach about it, however I heard him actually lay into one of many varsity guys the opposite day, saying “It’s the horses, not the chariot.” 

Doesn’t the Chariot depend too?

Now, I don’t need to say something nasty a few fellow coach, however after all a ship needs to be rigged accurately. You’ve acquired to discover a option to deliver this up with him. An enormous a part of any coach’s job is to make it possible for the gear will deliver out the perfect within the athletes. Take into consideration a refined approach you’ll be able to deliver this up. Since your coach might not be inclined to ask you ways the rigging feels, don’t say, “Coach, this boat is all screwed up.” As a substitute, maybe say, “I really feel like I might pull more durable if I have been raised a little bit.”

Rigging could make an enormous distinction. However typically rowers don’t understand simply how a lot. A struggling oarswoman at a nationwide group camp as soon as mentioned that she was having a tough time conserving her blade buried and her again was hurting. I checked her rigger and he or she had 12 levels of pitch. (The norm is 4 or 5.) With a fast adjustment, she was in a position to row successfully, ultimately turning into a world champion and an Olympian. I, after all, take all of the credit score. So, do say one thing, however don’t complain.

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