08 December 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Rowing a half marathon with one happy rower

January 12, 2015
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Just before Christmas, I joined the wonderful Jo Moseley, a fellow challenger, on her quest to push herself out of her comfort zone. Jo’s challenge (you can read about Jo here) started back in March 2014 when she began rowing a million metres, culminating in a half marathon on 12th December, and then her final big push with a marathon on 21st December.

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These dates and timeframes were all chosen on purpose. Jo sadly lost her mother to cancer on 21st December 2013. She decided to embark on this challenge in memory of her mother, whilst raising funds for Macmillan Nurses who cared and supported Jo’s mother and their whole family during her illness.

It was an absolute pleasure to join Jo on her challenge and keep her company for her marathon quest. For me, with what little rowing knowledge of rowing I have, and what one of my rowing friends described as a “unique technique”, I knew I would have to try my hardest and properly apply myself.

As expected, I found it very difficult. However, to my surprise, I really really enjoyed it. I loved how it worked my whole body, and once I had improved my technique to the point my legs were aching and not my arms (yes, I really was that bad to begin with) I found I had discovered a new way to work out that I truly enjoyed. Similar to when I completed Swimathon in 2012 as part of ‘My year of ultimate challenges’, I was experiencing the same joy and excitement at finding something new I liked.

The ergo is something I have always avoided in the gym because of a lack of knowledge of how to use it. It has now become a machine I genuinely will look forward to using, and incorporate into my regular training regime.

This whole experience epitomises why I began the #takeonachallenge campaign. It’s all about the idea of pushing yourself to try new things, experience new feelings and emotions through activities, sport and exercise. Most importantly, it is about doing it with people, family and friends, or in this case, strangers becoming new friends. That social element is vitally important to me, because it is often a factor that can inspire and motivate to push you further, gives you a greater sense of accomplishment and indeed a far more rewarding experience on the whole.

Knowing that you have helped someone else push themselves further or try something new, is just as good as being inspired and motivated to go out of your own comfort zone by someone else.

I am very grateful to Jo for letting me join her on her remarkable challenge. I found the whole experience very inspirational, seeing all the money she raised, how hard she pushed herself, and the fantastic support her family and friends gave her during her mammoth undertaking was heart warming. Not only did she manage to raise a huge £9450 (her original aim target was £4219), row a marathon in the excellent time of 4 hours 3 mins (on top of already rowing a million metres since March), she also inspired me, a complete stranger, to learn how to row and has influenced my future training and workouts as a result – and for that I gratefully thank her.

Jo’s time places her as the fastest female in the UK in her age group. This is also additionally impressive because she spent the whole time I rowed next to her completing my half marathon, talking to each and every supporter that visited her ergo! (the furthest I’d previously rowed in one go was 2K!) I have no idea how she did it as I was huffing and puffing next to her.

If you have been inspired by Jo, you can still sponsor her million metres campaign here: www.justgiving.com/OneHappyRower/

Who would have thought taking on challenges enables you to meet so many inspirational friendly people. Bring on some more please!

Clarissa Goodwin, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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Clarissa inspires others to #takeonachallenge

Off the back of completing 'My Year of Ultimate Challenges' follow me as I attempt to take on bigger and more enduring challenges from abseiling, cycling, stand up paddle boarding and swimming to desert races, mountain treks, adventure and obstacles races….with as much variety as possible! I’m doing this in the hope to encourage girls and women to #takeonachallenge, get active and have fun whilst raising money for the Go Sisters World Series which aims to promote female participation and empowerment of girls through sport across the globe. I am also doing all of this in the memory of my father who inspired and made me the sport fanatic I am; and raising money for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in his honour. Follow my journey through the highs and lows of my training, reviews of the events I partake in, and be part of this fulfilling journey of discovering how hard we really can push ourselves!
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