Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thrive: Testing the Waters by Rowing on Pittsburgh's Rivers

The technical aspect of rowing is fascinating. Synchronization is paramount and the racing shell is heavier than it looks.




photo by john altdorfer

 

Square your blade! Way enough! Fall out!

There are eight of us, a Beginner Masters team of rowers hailing from the Three Rivers Rowing Association, seated in a sleek, 60-foot-long, gleaming white double scull christened Take It to the Sky. I’ve been placed in Seat 3 in the bow; it’s considered the “powerhouse” section, but I have no idea what language people are speaking.

Starboard strong, port easy!   

“There is no ‘I’ in crew,” says my coach, Anne Hockenberry. “Everyone has a purpose, whether it’s strength, speed or technical competence.”

This became clear when we lugged our deceivingly lightweight-looking shell from the boathouse to the river. 

“Yeah,” huffs one of my crewmates as we follow precise instruction to hoist it up. “It’s heavy.”

It’s a lesson in maneuverability getting it into the water. Once we do, we’re under the direction of our coxswain, Beth, who sits in the stern and guides us out of the channel flanking Washington’s Landing and into the Allegheny River. It’s Beth’s job to make sure we are setting a good pace, balanced and paying attention.  

Power 10!

My job is to listen for my cue, “3,” rely on the kindness of strangers to translate the lingo, and never, ever, let go of my oar. In addition to being a faux pas, losing one throws the entire boat off-balance.  

Equally bad: falling into the water. If I do, Anne must complete a mountain of paperwork after she fishes me out.

We begin to row. Coxswain Beth tells us when to feather our blades, when to square them. Which seats should rest, which should stroke. We pass under the 40th Street Bridge. A dead catfish floats by.  

The technical aspect of rowing is fascinating. Synchronization is paramount. One mistimed stroke makes a noticeable difference in our balance, speed and direction. When I fail to release the blade quickly enough from the water, I essentially put the brakes on. Catching a crab, they call it.

Finally in sync, everything becomes fluid; we’re soaring! “How fast were we going?” I ask.

“Not very fast,” Anne says with a smile.

When we head back, crossing under the 31st Street Bridge, the setting sun leaves watercolor strokes across the city skyline.    

“Anyone can do this at any point in life,” Anne says. “We have a 78-year-old who joined a class.”

Verdict: Now’s the perfect time to join. The Winter Rowing League trains inside during the off-season so that you’re ready for the water come spring.  

Three Rivers Rowing, 412/821-1710, threeriversrowing.org. Fitness and competitive teams are available for men, women and youth.
 

Eat This Month

​Chia Seeds
These small but powerful seeds are high in protein, fiber and omega-3s, making them a great addition to any meal, says registered dietitian Allison Wade of Case Specific Nutrition. Enjoy in a variety of ways, whether raw or in baked dishes. Wade suggests adding them to yogurt, pudding, smoothies, breading for fish or chicken, or to replace an egg when baking. There is no USDA recommended daily serving; most packages suggest a serving size of 2 tablespoons.
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

New Venue Added to Pittsburgh's Cinema in the Park Series

See what's playing this summer in a Pittsburgh park near you.

The 400-Word Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The Star Wars series experiments with telling an origin story, with mixed results.

What's a ‘Spark’ and Why Should Pittsburghers Care?

Sparks are relatively young — the concept for them first popped up in San Francisco in 2005. They’ve just recently appeared in other U.S. cities, including our neighbors on the other side of the state.

Third Place on 'American Idol,' First Place in the Steel City

Munhall high school student Gabby Barrett finished in third place last night on ABC’s reboot of “American Idol.”

From Milan to Pittsburgh: These are the Kitchen Concepts of the Future

Local interior designer Lauren Levant traveled to Italy for the influential Salon del Mobile show featuring the latest innovations in the furniture and design industry. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, these are the kitchen concepts she says will be making their way stateside.

Wine Classes Keep the Pre-Wedding Celebration Classy

Palate Partners School of Wine & Spirits offers a chance for brides- and grooms-to-be to explore libations before (or instead of) a night on the town.

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The careful documentary is a valuable document of the pontiff's philosophy. As of a film, there are issues.

Popular Peter's Pub Announces Final “Last Call”

The owners of the Oakland Avenue bar announced on Facebook they have decided to retire -- but are planning one last “hoorah.”

An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

The Strip District restaurant draws a diverse community to its nightly ifṭār buffet.

Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

The new escape room in Pleasant Hills is a great game for newer players.

Looking for a Royal Wedding Watch Party in Pittsburgh?

With the ceremony just hours away, several watch parties and live screenings of the nuptials have already sold out. But we found a few more places in Pittsburgh still taking guests whose invitations got lost in the mail.

Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

For the time being, at least, fans continue to send owner Bob Nutting a message wrapped in apathy.

Sunrise, Sunset: Pittsburgh Playhouse's Second Act

The curtain is closing this month on the historical Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland, but it will rise again when Point Park University this fall unveils its new theater Downtown, a space with a history of its own.

A Matter of Pride: Delta Foundation's Struggles with Success

Within the span of 10 years, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh has brought the city’s annual Pride festival to previously unimaginable heights. That growth, however, has left some members of the community behind — and unhappy.

Remembering Bruno Sammartino: “The Italian Superman”

The storied grappler captured the imagination — and the hearts — of generations of Pittsburghers.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


New Venue Added to Pittsburgh's Cinema in the Park Series

New Venue Added to Pittsburgh's Cinema in the Park Series

See what's playing this summer in a Pittsburgh park near you.

Comments

What's a ‘Spark’ and Why Should Pittsburghers Care?

What's a ‘Spark’ and Why Should Pittsburghers Care?

Sparks are relatively young — the concept for them first popped up in San Francisco in 2005. They’ve just recently appeared in other U.S. cities, including our neighbors on the other side of the state.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

The Strip District restaurant draws a diverse community to its nightly ifṭār buffet.

Comments

Filmmaker David Bernabo Looks Beyond The Menu

Filmmaker David Bernabo Looks Beyond The Menu

He examines the visible yet unseen labor in the service industry with his documentary, "Eating & Working & Eating & Working."

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places to Introduce Children to the Performing Arts

Best Places to Introduce Children to the Performing Arts

When you see a show at one of these organizations, you may enjoy it as much as the children.

Comments

The 4 Best Sports to Try This Spring in Pittsburgh

The 4 Best Sports to Try This Spring in Pittsburgh

Looking to switch up your physical activity now that it finally feels like spring? We found four sports you can play locally that you may never have considered.

Comments


Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

The new escape room in Pleasant Hills is a great game for newer players.

Comments

Phipps Summer Show is Bizarre and Essential

Phipps Summer Show is Bizarre and Essential

At "Gardens of Sound and Motion," Phipps offers giants, living sculptures and more oddities.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

For the time being, at least, fans continue to send owner Bob Nutting a message wrapped in apathy.

Comments

Penguins’ Epitaph: So Close and Yet So Far Away

Penguins’ Epitaph: So Close and Yet So Far Away

To win the Stanley Cup Championship you have to be good, but you also have to be lucky. The Penguins weren’t enough of either this time.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The 400-Word Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The Star Wars series experiments with telling an origin story, with mixed results.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The careful documentary is a valuable document of the pontiff's philosophy. As of a film, there are issues.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Wine Classes Keep the Pre-Wedding Celebration Classy

Wine Classes Keep the Pre-Wedding Celebration Classy

Palate Partners School of Wine & Spirits offers a chance for brides- and grooms-to-be to explore libations before (or instead of) a night on the town.

Comments

He Recovers from Stroke to Officiate Granddaughter's Wedding

He Recovers from Stroke to Officiate Granddaughter's Wedding

It was always Ashley Watkins’ dream to have her grandfather perform her wedding ceremony — but a serious illness almost got in the way.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
From Milan to Pittsburgh: These are the Kitchen Concepts of the Future

From Milan to Pittsburgh: These are the Kitchen Concepts of the Future

Local interior designer Lauren Levant traveled to Italy for the influential Salon del Mobile show featuring the latest innovations in the furniture and design industry. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, these are the kitchen concepts she says will be making their way stateside.

Comments

Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Thinking about starting a creative business but don't know where to start? From photography to interior design, Gamechangers, the new podcast from local textile designer Savannah Hayes, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the design industry from the female perspective.

Comments