Teaching Myself to Row in East Texas
Larry Julian - Texas
Virus Turbo II Wing
Ten years after moving to a house on a 1500-acre reservoir, I suddenly found myself 20 pounds heavier. I decided that sculling would be just the thing. Someone told me that most people learned at school or in a club, which were not options. The Virus II Turbo Wing looked like the way to go.
I tried to launch the Virus like my canoe by just pushing myself off the dock. Big mistake but my kids got a laugh watching me fall off the boat. I worked out a better launching technique with the boat parallel to the dock. I went out a couple of times and just sat still with the oars on the water. I got braver and moved the oars. I got to the point where I could move my legs too. Then I could do both at once. It was not a pretty sight. My hands hit my knees and the oars got tangled in the water. But every time I went out it was easier. Urs was great with encouragement and advice.
Now I row four to six miles almost every day. I managed to lose 20 pounds and feel in the best shape of my life. The Virus made it possible. I can drag it around on the dock without worrying about a keel. It is stable enough that choppy water and wake-boarders do not discourage me. I am confident enough to go out in cold and windy conditions. I have been thrown up against a rocky dam without damaging the boat.
Now if I can teach my children to row they might get athletic scholarships to Ivy League schools.