Blind Rowing, What’s It Like ?

Imagine you’re on a path in a park by the sea. A dense fog rolls in on you, so dense you can’t see your hand more than a foot in front of your eyes. You lose your sense of direction immediately. It’s strange, but pleasantly quiet.

Then out of the fog, you hear a voice that says “Turn right!” You walk a few paces, then the voice says “Soft left.” You walk a while that direction, and then it says, hurriedly, with almost panic “Stop! Go back, go back!” So, you step back 2-3 paces and start again. Next, the voice says “Straight.”

As you’re moving you hear the barking of a pack of sea lions, so you must be at water’s edge. Then a seal pops up and splashes right near the shore. You start to hear the birds as you’re walking—the cormorant, the seagulls, the pelicans, and always there’s that splashing of the water. Then suddenly you hear a gigantic splash, and then a smaller one. That can only be a mama dolphin with her pup, coming to visit you again. So there you are in the dense fog totally dependent on the voice, trusting the voice, as it takes you back in the right direction. Out there in nature, hearing and feeling it all around you.

Now, just add in a lot of training, a lot of strength, a lot of wind, and the drive to compete and always do better. Just for fun, add in some stronger winds and some bigger waves, and a few other boats in your path, and there you have it folks—what it’s like to be rowing when you can’t see.