Steady State and some memories

Today’s session was planned as 80-90 minutes of steady state, but it wasn’t to be. When I arrived at the club just before 7am, I had some business to do with the head coach, which took more than I expected, so I didn’t launch before 7:30. After the workout, work would be waiting and there was much to do, so I decided to shorten the session to 12km. As the lake was getting choppy, I decided to take the gorge to the castle and back. In this time of the year, that is always a great choice. The trees are now more colored every day, and the water in the gorge is flat and easy to row with less wind than on the lake.

It’s going to be 15 degrees and sunny on Saturday. Maybe I should take some pictures.

This being the first row after a race also meant that things were a bit improvised. Packing my stuff, I had concentrated on getting enough clothes into the bag to have a good choice of layers depending on the weather. That meant that I had forgotten to pack my Wahoo Tickr, which is usually a part of my rowing bag, but was left outside after Sunday’s bike ride. So, no heart rate data today. I estimate it to be the usual steady state stuff, average heart rate somewhere between 150 and 155bpm.

Today I read a nice blog post by Jeff Bolster, Keeping it Simple. I found this piece because of a blog by Göran R Buckhorn on Hear the Boat Sing.

Reading about the rowing boats of the past I was reminded of my mother’s parents, who lived as vegetable farmers in Sloterpolder, a part of the world that has literally disappeared under the post-war expansion of Amsterdam. At my grandparents’ well-attended birthday parties, we grandchildren played in one part of the room while the old people were sharing old memories in the other part of the room. I found the interesting website “Geheugen van West” (Memory of West Amsterdam) which seemed as a continuation of these birthday parties, minus the cigar smoke and the “Jonge” (Dutch gin). The site collects stories from old people in “West” and “pre-West”, and has old documents and pictures.

I am sharing this because rowing boats was an integral part of the Sloterpolder. To get to your house from the public road, you had to row. To bring vegetables to the markets in Amsterdam, people rowed. To go to the library in the city, you rowed. Here are some pictures.

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The person on the right is identified as “Piet Sickman”, which is a name I remember from the stories, and some of the Sickmans are my distant relatives. Boy is unidentified.

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View on expanding Amsterdam from the polder

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The polder. Amsterdam in the background

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My parents have some pictures of my grandparents’ house. It looked pretty similar to this one. The greenhouses in the back of the “garden”

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The guy on the left is "Ome Han", also a name that rings a bell

The guy on the left is “Ome Han”, also a name that rings a bell, but it could be coincidence as it is a very common name

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