As part of our training for the Hamilton Island Cup at the end of May, the 6 women and 5 men from our club competing in the races, who are collectively known as the “Hamo” crew (“hamfisted” in my case), are all completing various on and off-water tests to gauge our fitness. The test results are humiliatingly revealed on a weekly basis and I can tell you that there is nothing more motivating than knowing the email of doom is going to appear for all to see. Nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide!
The toughest, and paradoxically the shortest, test is 750 metres on a rowing machine, or ergonometer (“erg” or “ergo” in the parlance). Panicking at my signal failure thus far to get below 3 minutes, I have gone to the lengths of engaging a personal erg coach, my friend A who’s a brilliant rower and a very attractive woman to boot. For the price of breakfast (and some flattery), she’s going to teach me how to improve my wretched technique enough to scrape a more dignified time.