I never feel at ease around water — be it poolside, lakeside or oceanside.
That unease stems from falling into a public pool at age 5. I cannot erase the memory of being submerged and feeling completely helpless.
Fast forward two decades and I go and marry a person who grew up on Owasco Lake. Having spent his life boating and water skiing, he wanted to share all those experiences with his reluctant new wife. I remember the first time we took our firstborn child on the boat — it was pure terror!
To help overcome these fears, I jumped at the chance to learn how to row and get out on the Genesee River with Cross Currents Minority Rowing club, which tries to help people like me learn the merits of this great sport.
Step one was an indoor training session at the Pittsford Indoor Rowing Center on July 20.
I went in thinking, "I’m fit. I do zumba. I lift weights. This can’t be that hard."
Our trainer, J.B. BernField — who’s been rowing for decades — called my name out many times as I forgot to keep my arms straight, or I didn’t bend forward from the hips enough, or I was rowing too quickly or forgot to stop. Remember what they teach you in kindergarten about listening to directions? That all seemed to have gone out the window for me. But I had a great time, and all the coaches were extremely patient!
Fingers crossed that I can put it all together when we head out on the mighty Genesee in August.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Check back next month for part two of Jiménez’s rowing adventure with Staff Photographer Tamara Tirado.