07 January 2008

Cogito ergo sum

Yesterday, at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley, Mel challenged me to match her achievement on the Ergo they have there for visitors to play with (note: the admission charge is modest, and if you make it a donation your ticket is valid for a whole year. A single rowing machine does not substitute for an entire gym, of course, and there are no dedicated changing facilities, but at that price this could be an attractive alternative to expensive health club membership). She'd done a kilometre, so I sat down to try to match her speed.

She wandered off disinterestedly, remarking that I'd never make it at the rate I was rowing, and indeed the large lunch I'd recently consumed did handicap me a little. I cut the stroke rate to about 29 (from what, I don't recall) and, while it wasn't comfortable, I got to the km mark in 4:26, climbed off the machine and went to find Mel.

She assumed I had given up short of the distance (hence, presumably, my unexpectedly early appearance): when I told her I had indeed completed it, and what my time was, she had forgotten what she'd done - "4:20-something" was the best she could remember. Then she claimed in mitigation that I am a man, and she's only 15 (to my 51? I don't think that point goes in her favour!). So I'm putting that down as a victory, a little like the way I beat Tom in the Last Friday race last month, which he didn't start.

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