As a veteran National Hockey League on-ice official of 20 years, my physical fitness level is imperative to being able to not only keep up with the speed of the game, but also to be able to process and make calls in real time. At almost 50 years old, I am tasked with being able to skate and execute the physical and mental demands of the sport while sharing the ice with the best hockey players in the world.
Three years ago, I required knee surgery and was looking for a low-impact way to rehab and maintain my fitness levels during the off-season at our cottage in Manitoba, Canada. I had used the ergs at the gyms, but had never tried rowing on the water, and thought it would be an ideal activity to meet my needs. I investigated purchasing a racing shell, but the cost and my concern for the learning curve led me to find another way to accomplish my goal. Getting an erg was not what I wanted to do, as I really wanted to take advantage of being on a lake the entire summer.
I was directed to an innovative product, the Oar Board, and did not hesitate to order myself the 13’4” Adventure Row Combo Package. When it arrived, I was immediately impressed by the quality and engineering that went into the design. I could not wait to get out on the water to give it a try.
After putting it together, I set out to take it for my first ever rowing experience on the water. In all honesty, I was a disaster. That said, after watching some online videos and with persistence, the learning curve of the Oar Board was simple and in no time, I was able to easily navigate the lake and get one of the best workouts I have ever had. Rowing is, by far, one of the most complete exercises you can do for the entire body, involving nearly 85% of the muscles of the body and a phenomenal cardiovascular challenge. I was able to get back into game shape easily over the summer, while not causing any issues to my repaired knee.
Since that first summer, I have spent many glorious mornings, enjoying the peace of the calm lake. Rowing is not only an amazing physical exercise, but I have also found myself lost in the zen experience of listening to the oars in the water, or watching the wake off the stern of the board as I make my way across the lake, the bubbles forming a single line in the distance as they merge together.
Countless times I have been stopped on the lake by people asking about my Oar Board. Simply put, there is no product like it and people are intrigued when they see it out on the water. The Oar Board is more than a novel recreational way to spend time on the water. Of all the pieces of fitness equipment I own, the Oar Board is by far the best addition I have ever made in support of my fitness goals.
Thanks, Oar Board, for being an integral part of my off-season training and for providing a unique way to spend time on the water.