Here’s the deal. I KNOW cardio is an important part of anyones work out plan no matter what the over all goal is. Let’s face it a strong heart is a good thing. Plus good cardio just comes in handy, walking the stairs at work, joining girls for a walk up Knox mountain, touring around Paris on foot, and running away from a crazed ex girl friend of your current boy friend are all great examples of when good cardio can make a difference in day to day life.

Over the years I have tried a variety of cardio pursuits, good grief I did TRIATHLONS! That’s about as cardio as it gets with the whole swim, bike, run thing! I truly loved doing triathlons because I always feel great in the water, I enjoyed an independent sport that is done within a group of people with common goals, and I liked the gear. I REALLY liked the gear, from the wetsuits to the running shoes, the bike stuff to the backpack to carry it all in, the gear is just fun. Expensive but fun. My point here is that while I truly loved doing triathlon and hope to do it again someday what I didn’t enjoy was the cardio. The swim was my favourite, the bike was OK but there was no “runner’s high” for me. While some people talk about an almost meditative state, or getting into the “zone” while doing these activities I fought through every single moment. I actually walk faster than I run! While I go in with all the positive self talk I can muster it’s not long before a steady stream of obscenities is running in my head, or I am totally distracted and almost slowing to a complete halt because I spotted a pretty bird in the backyard of a house I was “running” by. 

It has never been better in the gym. I tried an elliptical machine, actually I have tried it many many times, I am fairly confident that machine was invented by the devil, who has something against people with short strides. There is always the tread mill, which I don’t  hate … as much.

Working out with Ryan has found me on a rowing machine more than once and I must admit I haven’t hated it. My friend Sheila is a rower and I had mentioned to her once or twice that this rowing thing wasn’t so bad! She knows that cardio is a struggle for me and I needed some help.. lo and behold she had an extra rowing machine at her disposal! That rowing machine now lives in my spare bedroom. 

Here’s how my first row broke down: 

Steve is heading out for a run with his friend Jimi. I figure I have a solid 35 to 40 minutes before they come back in the door, so I climb aboard my new (to me) rowing machine. 

Ipod on and up.

Feet Strapped in.

Handle in hands.

Tension set.


Within 2 minutes I was sweating, within 10 minutes I was REALLY sweating, 15 minutes in I was hurting a little but still singing along with my Ipod. 20 minutes along it occurs to me that as much as my eyes are stinging from sweat and I had a slight twinge in my side I was having more fun on a cardio machine than I ever have. 

At this point I almost smiled. I did keep singing. 

Steve and Jimi come home. 

Did I know they had come in the door? No. Steve figured it would be a good idea to let me know they had arrived.. I was singing rather exuberantly, rather off key and rather loudly. 

The rowing machine was set up in such a way that it was facing the window and my back was to the door. Remember my feet are strapped in and locked on to the machine and I am sitting on a seat that slides back and forth at a good clip while you are rowing.

Steve politely tapes me on the shoulder to alert me that he is home. I do what anyone would do in this situation. 

All in one I.

Stop singing.

Start screaming.

Jump about a foot off the seat.

Again. Feet are LOCKED in and seat is SLIDING. Therefore when I come down from my startled leap, I land on…. THE BAR THE SEAT WAS SLIDING ON. 

I am. Still locked into the machine half on the ground, Ipod still on and in my ears, husband by my side trying to determine if I am OK, while laughing his butt off.

The good news. I have stopped singing and plan on rowing again.