I’m always looking for new ways to challenge the Jo’s Thing ladies, but this one was way out there in terms of pushing people out of their comfort zones! Just 12 weeks ago, 8 ladies (who had not rowed before) accepted the challenge of following my 12 week plan with a final 100,000m relay row on 19th December with the target of setting a new world record.
The training was hard. I mean, really hard. We lost a couple of team members during the training as the commitment was too much. But those who were able to fit everything in (in between the school run, work, Christmas shopping and all the usual family commitments) reaped the rewards as we embarked on our biggest challenge yet.
Now if you’ve ever been to a gym, you’ll have noticed that the rowing machines are usually sat empty. There’s a good reason for that; they are by far the toughest form of cardio exercise and make the treadmill look easy.
We broke the 100,000m up into 100m sprints, so with 11 ladies on the team, we each had to do 91 (yes, ninety-one!) 100m sprints each. The first few aren’t too bad….
Adrenalin was pumping, tummies were full of butterflies and sleep the night before was limited. But we’d at least made it to the start line.As we were rowing on one Concept 2 machine, we needed our changeovers to be slick, after all, there were 1000 of them! Hysteria set in after about 30k and we had some hilarious lack-of-concentration moments, but by far the most incredible fact of the day was that every single lady in the team, pulled something very special out of the bag for this row. We ALL rowed faster than we had in training and somehow (with the help, support – read ‘being hollered at from behind!’ and prospect of a world record) managed to keep the pace.
We were hoping to finish somewhere between 6 hours 15 and 6 hours 30 minutes. On the day we managed 5 hours and 59 minutes which is utterly outstanding and a world record which will take some beating.
Yet another example of what can be achieved by women of all ages (we were aged between 39 and 57) where there is support, a clear goal and camaraderie in spades.
Personally, I’m feeling sore today, bizarrely much sorer than I was a fortnight ago after the tandem row. But much more than sore I’m feeling elated and proud to have worked with these amazing women.
The euphoria at the end was indescribable!
My only worry now is how on earth I’m going to find a challenge to top this next year! Thinking hats on….