Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Posture Pixies and their relatives

For most of us, long distance rowing is demanding on the back. The good news, though, is that help IS available, and I don't just mean taking a couple of 12-hour Neurofen before you start (though I am a strong believer in doing that). There is no need to struggle to sit up, keep your back flat and engage your abdominals on your own.

The Posture Pixie is there to help.

As anyone who has paid attention during Peter Pan or has read Terry Pratchett's Small Gods knows, creatures like the Posture Pixie exist if you believe in them. I called it into being in 2006 when  I was vaguely organising ("coaching" would be to strong a term) a very tall, very thin young man, who generally tried to row as if he were about a foot shorter than he actually was, and I was worried that he as going to do himself some permanent damage if he did that for the full 50km of the Boston Marathon.

Fortunately, he survived, thanks to some great work by a Posture Pixie who sat on his shoulder the whole way, whispering "Sit up, Charlie" at regular intervals. Other members of his quad later voiced concerns that he had developed an ongoing friendship with the Posture Pixie, but he was over 16 by then and it really wasn't my problem.
Posture Pixies are very useful, but
somewhat limited conversationally.
I was asked recently, by the coach of an adult novice squad, where she could buy a supply of Posture Pixies, as her coachlings desperately needed their help. All I can say suggest is that, if the belief route doesn't work for them, I look forward to readers' pictures of any that they have a) made out of PlayDoh, icing sugar, or similar substances or b) knitted.

This woman is beyond help from a Posture Pixie.
Her only hope is to scull.

The Magic Rigging Fairy
This is where the belief thing doesn't work. We all WANT there to be a Rigging Fairy, and we've probably all rowed with someone who apparently believes that she exists. But she doesn't. Sadly.

This is what we want the Rigging Fairy to do.
Do you see her in the picture?
No. Because she doesn't exist.

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