“Do you think they will let us give it a try?” I asked my friend as we drove by on our scooters and parked. It can’t hurt to ask we thought together. This is the sort of club in America you need a collared shirt and some really short shorts to even be even given a glance. Well, good news is we may just have a shot here in Asia just the same in street clothes.
We decided to walk up to the water’s edge where two thirty foot platforms fitted with sliding seats and oars were anchored to shore. As my partner and I took a few minutes to observe the team in action the guy in charge at the moment turned around and asked us if we would like to give it a try.
It’s funny how The Father works things out if we just step out to be creative decide to give things a try. My buddy I hop aboard take a seat on one of the 6 positions on board. Now, in the States I’ve done a lot of CrossFit, but with an oar in hand things feel a bit different from Concept 2 rowers provided in my local gyms back home.
Our new coach cues us to squat as deeply as possible and get a full range of motion, back straight, while keeping the paddle shallow in the water. If you have never rowed, be it on a machine, or in the water, it’s super demanding physically. With only a few short pulls, I can tell that any collegiate athlete part of a solid rowing team is in incredible shape! The rowing team who were already on the boat during practice tried to be as helpful as possible while giving us every pointer possible. They were so patient with our serious and laughable language barrier.
People to our right stopped to watch the Americans try their hand at joining the rowing team. This must have been a scene for any onlooker! Keep in mind the guys we were rolling with are not some second rate rowing team. These guys who just competed in an international tournament against Harvard and many of America’s Ivy League’s. They did very well!
In America, I’m not sure if a rowing team would’ve given us the time a day to join a practice, but here on this Asian campus these guys gave us a ticket to row and brought us into their extensive indoor training facility outfitted with weights and at least a dozen rowers. These guys meant business, but for some reason they decided to “lower the bar” and give us a shot. They even invited us to come back and practice with them this next week. After our time together on the water and touring their practice facility they asked us to go grab some dinner together. These guys were so generous and kind!
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far in being creative to reach others with “The Good News” is that sports and sweating together is an international unifier (we play soccer out here as well). I’m sure it would be incredible to compete at an Olympic level and have friends throughout the world who you can bond with on an even deeper level through trials together. Taking that dream one step further, imagine if they worshiped the The Father’s Only Son throughout these feats of honed athletic accomplishment. Glory! Now I would definitely fly across the world to be a part of that!
Until that time I’m very grateful for our evening of unexpected surprises by getting to row with the collegiate team!