10 Things Women Rowers Understand

When you learn to row, supportive coaches and new teammates show you around the boathouse, teach you about the equipment, explain the basics of the rowing stroke, and if they’re nice, share a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with you at your first regatta because you forgot to pack lunch. Here’s a list that goes beyond the basics, compiled from lots of women rowers who have plenty of experience:

Don’t get your navel pierced during rowing season. Swing and ow! Swing and ow!

White lycra shirts while rowing are a no-no unless you’re ready to be the only contestant in a wet t-shirt contest.

You’ve gotta’ make room for “the ladies” at the catch if you’ve got anything bigger than mosquito bumps.

Keep your underwear selection basic – fun colors and patterns under your trou might give you a secret thrill, but often end up giving your teammates a free show.

Two words: camel toe.

You might gain weight, or lose a little and then the scale won’t budge. Remember, you’re developing muscle, and muscle is heavier than fat.

Growing your hair out? Be prepared for the awful “in between phase” with headbands, bandanas, and ball caps.

Wish you had a third hand around the boathouse or regatta site? Steal an idea from your nights out at the club: sports bras are great for storing keys, tape, 7/16th wrenches …

Rough, calloused hands – a sign of hard work and respect in the boat – aren’t exactly a turn on for your partner/boyfriend/husband.

If you want to avoid flossing your ass for 60 minutes, absolutely no thongs.

And of course, work just as hard as the guys and expected to be treated with equal respect.

What would you add to this list? Email rachel@rowsource.com.