I bought my Model C Concept 2 in 2001, my plan (like most people who buy exercise equipment) was to use it every week. And, like most people,I failed. I used the rower sporadically for a while, and then I moved house, and it just sat there in my new home, gathering dust. I'd get the urge to start using it again (yes...January) and as usual, it didn't last. I've always done some form of exercise, either in the gym or running, and have had some long periods of running every week (maybe up to a year at a time), I've run about ten 1/2 Marathons and one full Marathon. But I don't think I've ever exercised consistently every week for a period longer than 1 year.
2014 New Year's day
Three years ago (when I hit 40) I decided enough was enough. I drive to work, sit at my desk for 8hrs, and then drive home, then after I've made dinner and picked up after the kids I sit in front of the tv with the wife for an hour or so before bed. Not exactly an active lifestyle. So I made a New Year's resolution to row at least 30km every week (4x5km, 1x10km). I used Excel and made a big table where each row was a week, and each column was 5km (it had 10 columns, so 50km). I printed the table on A3 paper, and stuck it up on the wall in the garage, right next to the rowing machine. The aim was simple, "don't break the streak", the longer I could hit 30km each week, the less likely I would be to miss a week, because I'd "break the streak". I had to start off slowly, but by week 3 I was up to 30km, and with the exception of a few weeks (house move, and trip to NYC) I hit my target. But the table was not the thing that kept me going, 30km per week on the rower meant about 2 1/4 hrs of my time, and just rowing can be boring. So I attached my old generation 1 iPad to the rower, got some sports headphones, and started watching Star Trek (original) from the very beginning. Exercise time was now also Star Trek time. When I got to the end of Star Trek, I watched Stargate SG1, all 10 seasons, and then Atlantis, and then.....you get the idea. I watched TV that I would look forward to. During September I hit 1'000'000 meters, and as I'd been logging my rows in the online log book, I qualified for my free 1million meter t-shirt and pin.
Here's my setup http://www.evernote.com/l/AAE_0dEFMrpDu ... hxtcTAes8/
Here's my 2014 table http://www.evernote.com/l/AAFy5VryoEdBY ... JigEH6I8I/
2015 carried on much like 2014, 30km per week (this time I didn't miss any weeks). I hit 2million meters in May (you don't get any freebies for 2m) and I also rowed my first 20km. I did my first 1/2 Marathon in July, and then my 2nd in December, when I also hit 3million meters.
Her'e my 2015 table http://www.evernote.com/l/AAE96Zv1vZxDR ... n1Sqqpm60/
2016 - This is the year when I realised I had been lazy
There were three things that happened in 2016 that made me realise that I needed to up my game:
- I set a New Year's resolution to row a Marathon by the end of the year
- I read Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise
- A friend of mine (the same friend who said I should "give something back" to the internet) casually mentioned that she swims for an hour every day
Rowing is now part of my lifestyle, it's fully integrated into my daily routine. I'm not trying to break records (obviously, I'm watching tv at the same time), but I am trying to make up for my 8hrs a day sitting at a desk, and to be honest, 10km per day is probably only just managing that. I'm still setting myself goals so I don't get too comfortable, so in 2017 I plan to row 10x10km in 24hrs.
- If you can, buy a rower, it holds its value well, and will last forever. There's nothing harder than getting home from work, and then dragging your arse back out again to go to a gym.
- Set a goal, print out a table/chart, and mark off each row, start a streak, and try to keep it going.
- Attach a tablet to the rower, or set up a TV and watch some sci-fi (other genres are acceptable), or listen to podcasts or audio books, but do something that will keep your mind occupied.
- Put some padding on the seat, those things are not meant for long rows!
- Log your rows with the Concept 2 Logbook, the rewards might not be much, but I wear my t-shirt with pride.