Finishing is the thing

by Vito D Agostino (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source)

From early September, the days seem to be still sleeping when you wake up. The first few rays of sunlight herald a new day and new life into the coffee-aroma-filled room. But not today. Just as the weather forecast had predicted, it had rained in the night and the sky was leaden. Forecasts are rarely wrong these days! Even after sipping my coffee, the semi-darkness of the grey morning remains. Not too different from my mood.window

I face the window and look out. I try to hold on the hope that the distant break in the clouds has cut through the dense nebulous gloom, heavy with rain. Will the weather change? In a few hours? Maybe. But we can’t hang around. Morning training is looming. We have to be moving by 8.

Finishing is the thing

I drive across the bridge to get to the seafront at Bari. The dark, turbulent waves of the sea are uninviting. It’s rougher than we could have imagined, inspiring respect. Since the end of June, the heat and colours of summer have framed our training. Today, the tones and temperature seem to signal the colder months. We leave the changing room in silence. Continue reading

Giuliano Spingardi: ‘my’ rowing

by Giuliano Spingardi (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source)

A few days ago, the President of the Italian Rowing Coach Association, Maurizio Ustolin, invited me to write an article about my rowing. On the surface, a simple request. And then, after some thought, I realised it was not so simple at all.

Giuliano Spingardi

I realised that he didn’t mean a technical ‘approach’, far too easy. But a reflection of ‘what’ rowing has meant to me. What it has ‘given me’. Describing this is not so straight forward, because for me, rowing is not a ‘memory’, it was and is ‘my life’. To describe only some aspects would be to over-simplify it.

‘My’ rowing

I began rowing in 1963, when I was 17. Convinced by my school friend, Gianpiero Galeazzi, to give this adventure a try, I left behind basketball and athletics. I’d been doing them more out of amusement than for the love of them. ‘My’ sport took a forceful hold of my already structured adult life. It started as an ‘add-on’ but became everything in time – even becoming my professional life. But that’s another story. We ‘racing members’ entered the club by the side door, the workman’s entrance. We weren’t allowed to Keep on reading!

The unbearable lightness of being a Lightweight

by Laura Ghioldi (translated by Gillian Shaw, source text)

I clearly remember the first time I sat on the rowing ergo. It was Monday 1st September 2014. And we all know a Monday is the perfect day to start something new.

Until that point, nobody had told me creation was divided into two broad categories. I used to distinguish people just by being male or female, unaware of the world being split into two by a simple set of scales!

The unbearable lightness of being

Before I encountered Indoor Rowing, my life was made up of drinking, bars, pizza, all-you-can-eat restaurants and of “pour me another” … Continue reading

Alex Bellini: “Motivation is a cheat”

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

We live on a planet we call Earth, even though 3/4 of it is covered by water. There have been more men to walk on the moon than who have rowed across an ocean. Alex Bellini has never been to outer space, but he has rowed across the Pacific. Twice.

Alex-bellini-motivazione

Alex Bellini

I’m only jealous of this guy because his profession on his ID card reads: explorer. Whereas I am just a journalist, who rows. Or at the very most, a rower who writes. But because of my job, I met him and asked for his help to find the right motivation, with the aim of spending more hours rowing than in front of the TV. It’s a pity he took the wind out of my sails, telling me not to believe in motivation. Because motivation is a cheat. Continue reading

Mario Palmisano: “Sweep to victory!”

by Mario Palmisano and translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

Rowing a sport made up of choices. But most of the time it won’t be you who’ll make them – it’ll be your coach. One of these, and possibly the most important, is whether you choose to row sweep oar or to scull.

boat classes

Usually your coach will decide this based on what the squad needs or which boats are available.  It can also be down to his/her personal choice. For example, sweep oar was my coach Aldo Calì’s preference, even though he had won in the 2x with Davide Tizzano.

Sweep to victory! Continue reading

On the road to Rio Paralympics 2016, by Luca Lunghi: the outstanding diary of a Paralympic athlete

by Irene Claudia Riccardi (translated by Gillian Shaw – source text)

I’m not a sporty person but I have always admired those who excel in physical activities. So this book ‘Viaparario2016’ (tr: Road to the Paralympics 2016) by Luca Lunghi has doubly impressed me. Available here in Italian (printed and electronic versions).

Luca-lunghi

Luca Lunghi

An engineer by profession, this diary of an extraordinary and differently-abled athlete covers three years – 2013 to 2016. Beginning when he was asked to join the paralympic rowing squad and Continue reading

10 Crimes against Rowing

by Giuseppe Lamanna translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

The writer and satirist Antonio Amurri argued that: “The fight against organised crime is really tough, because the crime is organised and we are not”. Thinking about it, he had a point.

Crimini-canottaggio

In rowing’s case, finding those responsible is much simpler: it is us. And the crime is always the same: misdirected energy. So oarspeople, here are the ten crimes against rowing:

Rowing: 10 crimes

1) ROWING OUT OF TIME. A sense of rhythm and coordination are essential in this sport. There is only one mantra for rowers: arms, body, legs – legs, body, arms. Continue reading