“I understood at a very early age that in Nature, I felt everything I should feel in church but never did.  Walking in the woods, I felt in touch with the universe and with the spirit of the universe.” -Alice Walker

This quote sums up why I row.

If you know my story, you may find it strange that I row. For those that don’t know, I was in a near fatal boating accident a decade ago this July.  I was on Lake Michigan, in a motor boat with my cousin and his new girlfriend.  We watched the sunset and then night fell. It was dark as we headed back and we hit a sea wall at 25 mph.  I was badly injured and spent one week in ICU and two more weeks in the hospital followed by 18 months of rehab.

I am fully recovered and I am fine.

And I LOVE the water.  I love being near the water, I love being on the water.  Five years ago, I took up rowing.  I’m not talking about a row boat like in the song, I’m talking about rowing in a shell.  There are different size boats to row. I have always rowed in singles and doubles. 

For people who “get it” rowing is physical, spiritual, and social.  There is nothing like getting to the river at 7 a.m. and watching the sun rise as one pushes off the dock.  Every day is beautiful whether the water is gun metal grey from a cloudy sky, muddy from the rain the day before, or smooth like a mirror.  Each day offers its own special beauty. 

Rowing is my answer to staying grounded and feeling sane.  This sport has been helping me navigate all the emotional ups and downs that 2020 is bringing to us all.

Physically it is challenging.  Worries drop away as one concentrates on moving the boat and staying dry!

Rowing is social.  Making friends wasn’t even on my radar when I decided to try this sport.  But making good friends has been a wonderful unintended consequence of spending so much time with other people who share a passion and so much time together.   When you see people every day you become intimately connected to their lives.

What Do You Love?

I know not everyone can find a passion like I have but I do strongly encourage you to get out in nature.  Find a forest path to walk, run with a friend, go for a bike ride. Going to the gym is also fine but many people don’t enjoy it.  The research is very clear that green space and blue space (being near water) elevates our mood and is good for our psychological health throughout our lives.

I think combining being outdoors with movement of some type is ideal and if you can add some friendship, it is even better. And of course, meeting up with someone makes it harder to find excuses not to go.

Why don’t you set a goal for yourself this week? Try a different activity or step up the ones you already enjoy.  Try to add in some trees, water, and company. You won’t be sorry!

If you need help with implementing healthy changes in your life, feel free to contact me through my website at www.yourhealthystructure.com.

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