kelley rose, kelley rows

Two friends of mine were discussing my favorite exercise, and one commented, "Kelley rows." The other, having heard my name, Kelley Rose, asked, "What about her?"

[Crickets.]

I feel like I need to work on the delivery of that.  Maybe it's better verbally.  I also think perhaps it needs a little drum roll afterwards. Bah-duh-TSS. Yes, much better.

I like rowing.  Indoor rowing on the C2 rowers at the Y.  I started rowing at the Lancaster Family YMCA (a place I and my children love) about five years ago.  I've been hooked ever since.  Fun fact: one time, I competed at Lanco Field House in a rowing competition and I placed first (among the ladies) and won $100 and a t-shirt.  Does that make me a professional?  I think so, yes.  Their rowers are in-cred-i-ble.  Real water tanks.  (I think it was these.)

Indoor rowing works the entire body, and personally, does a wonder for my back.  I had back surgery for scoliosis as a kid, so I'm prone to backaches.  Rowing strengthens my muscles back there and somehow holds everything in place better.  It also works the legs, arms, and core (which I guess includes the aforementioned back muscles).

I rowed as long as I could when I was pregnant.  Somewhere around 25 weeks, it became too uncomfortable to hunch over.  Funny story, though, just when I was nearing the point where my Cam-Bam belly was too large, a new trainer started at the Y.  He watched me rowing from behind, I guess, then came up to give some helpful advice that I was arching my back and not leaning far enough forward.  #awkward when I sat up.

Strangely enough, that didn't cure him from offering unsolicited advice to me, because he's offered "assistance" at least two times since then.  I need to work on my blank stare.  Although, he's not alone.  Too many men at the gym try to talk to women and offer their "help."  I should wear a shirt that says "go away" because apparently my headphones, lack of eye contact, and Doctor Who tanks aren't enough of a signal that I'm not there to socialize.

My addiction to rowing made its way into The Senator's Youngest Daughter, although my protagonist Brenna is lucky enough to be able to row for real... like on water, not in a gym.  At least for a while (**spoilers**, said like River Song).

Working out for me, and for Brenna as a matter of fact, is about more than looking good or feeling good, or societal pressure or anything else.  It's about being ready to do the best you can do at whatever is asked of you. For Brenna, that might mean hand-to-hand combat.

For me, that means taking off at a moment's notice to grab a small child on a runaway bike, chasing down a slightly wild puppy, lifting two children at once because "mah legs aw tired," or helping my husband carry large and heavy items around our house because the urge to clean or organize has struck him.  So following the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Rowing works for me!