Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rowing In Manila

Rowing at the Pasig River

This week, my doctors gave me the go signal to start exercising again! WHOOPEE! Thank goodness... I don't know how long I could have lasted being a useless bum.
Ever since the eye surgery at Asian Eye Institute, I have been forced to stay on my butt, unable to do anything. I couldn't see well, for the most part I couldn't really go out much, and it was a struggle to even watch TV or go online!

It was starting to get a little intolerable and I was ready to pull my hair out... but I keep reminding myself that this is just a necessary evil, and that this will all be worth it in the end when I finally have perfect vision. I'm still lucky I'm not working anymore, and that I have all this time to heal before I leave for my big world trip in May.

Anyway, this week I went straight back to boxing -- my regular workout. It felt SO GOOD to be moving and punching something again!

Apart from that, I also looked into ROWING at the Manila Boat Club.


I found out that Manila Boat Club offers free clinics to anyone who ever wanted to learn how to row. You get three rowing sessions free, then you can decide to either continue rowing after that and pay a minimal fee, or be a member!
I actually used to take sculling classes about 4 summers ago in Marina Del Rey. I had a lot of fun in class, and even joined a rowing team for a bit afterwards, but I just couldn't commit to it because the marina was too far, and their rows conflicted with my work schedule.
Now that I'm not working anymore, and the Manila Boat Club offers free clinics - Why Not?? :)


I was astonished to find out that they rowed at the Pasig River. First thing I thought of was - will we be able to move the boat with all that garbage in the water? I don't know if I've just been away from Manila for too long, but this is how I remember Pasig...

Pasig River Dirty
A river so filthy, it was declared "dead".

What I didn't realize was that even before I left for the states, the government had put together a rehabilitation plan to clean up the polluted river... It's been almost 14 years since that project started, and apparently, their efforts have started to pay off. This is what the Pasig River looked like when my sister and I arrived at 6am the other day.

Pasig River Now
No Filter. I swear!
Not bad at all! No foul smell either! Good job, Manila! :)


I took my sister with me for a little sculling action. Call time was 6am, and there we met James Stratton, the director of Manila Boat Club, and Coach Benny - our sculling coach! Everything was pretty simple. First they took us to the rowing machine to show us basic form and technique, then after 5 minutes of that, off to the water we went! That was it! No more bells and whistles! I've never been a fan of learning by theory... I learn by doing! And that's what we did!

Four of us climbed on to a boat. My sister and I were in the middle, James controlled our pace at the front, and Coach Benny was yelling out commands from the back. It's really easy... just stroke when they stroke and go with the flow. Even my sister who has never sculled in her life got the hang of it pretty quickly!

Rowing with Manila Boat Club

We were out rowing for about 40 minutes or so... got a good sweat in minus the killer Manila heat - one of the upsides to getting out and about by 6am.

I had such a great time! The repetitive motion is really therapeutic, and it's great exercise too - mostly benefits your arms, quads and abs! My sis and I have gone twice this week already, and will continue to go for sure.

This isn't exactly how I pictured my "bumming days" in Manila would be... Honestly, I would have loved to be basking in the sun on some remote island I haven't visited yet... but AGH I can't see very well and I'm not allowed to swim yet! First it was because of the tattoo, now because of the operation... AARGGGHH It's driving me NUTS!

Oyyyyyy... it's okay. I do what I can. Boxing is fun. Rowing is fun. And I know, a few months down the line, seeing the beaches in Greece with my newly improved 3D vision will make this all worth it. :)

Rowing at Pasig River Sunrise

Hi There! Have we met before? You look familiar! Those shoes look great on you, by the way! I’m Eartha and I recently decided to quit my job to travel the worrrrld! Join me in my adventures by checking back on my blog, and leaving me a comment or two!
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