Today I stepped out of my comfort zone. I competed in an event at the Arnold Classic, which is a giant fitness event and expo that takes place each March. I participated in the women’s open 500m rowing event, even though rowing is not my strong suit.
I signed up because the trainer at my gym asked a group of us to – we had eight women from my gym participate in total. I prepared for the race by rowing a few times a week at the gym, and the best time I got while practicing was 1:57.
When we got there today, I was surprised to see that we were just in a little alcove upstairs at the Columbus Convention Center – not even in any type of private room. There were actual competitive rowing teams there too, but our group of women from Pilger’s was the biggest team that participated in the open 500m.
I was nervous to row, but after doing a slow warm up, I felt a little better. Even if I was the worst one, I would still be able to finish.
There ended up being three heats, and I competed in the second one. My trainer and two other women from my “team” competed in the first heat, four of us were in the second heat, and one of our girls was in the third heat.
When I sat down on my erg, as it’s called, I felt butterflies in my stomach. They announced all of the competitors’ names, and counted down. We were off.
I started off so strong – my pace was 15 seconds faster than my practice pace. I kept going, and tried not to watch the screen that had our little boats showing our place, but I knew I was hanging around third place in my heat. The meters started ticking down. I was starting to feel out of breath. Suddenly, I was down to the last 100 meters – and finally, I crossed the finish line!
My time was 1:52 – five seconds faster than my best time! I didn’t end up placing, but my trainer came in 1st and one of our other girls came in 2nd! Overall, it was a success. We had a good time, and I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new.
(Even though I don’t think I’ll ever row again.)