Is there any better use of 45 minutes in the pursuit of health?
• Fitness tips: indoor rowing for beginners
There are many fitness pursuits that claim to be “the single best thing you can do”. I don’t normally have much truck with them, since that is usually code for “incredibly hard”. However, indoor rowing has plenty of disciples I trust, so I turn up to a class at 7am. You cannot overstate the seriousness of people who have built that into their routine. You also should not underestimate their nous. They are here because there is no better use of 45 minutes in the pursuit of health. So let’s begin.
Indoor rowing is strangely engrossing when you have a target: for our class, that means covering 800 metres in four minutes, or 1,000 metres if you are fit. Nobody badgers you about your technique, nobody tries to motivate you with “you can do it” boosterism; there you are, numbers in front of you, arms and legs, done. It is fiendishly hard, but time-limited. The interior dialogue is so short at four minutes (“I can definitely do this! No, wait, I can’t, it’s really unpleasant! Actually, you know what, maybe I can?”) that your demon self doesn’t have time to win.