Patricia Carswell – Girl on the River

 In RowingChat

Patricia is a very popular rowing blogger living on the Welsh / English borders. She explains “I’m not that good at rowing.”


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03:15 Patricia’s start as a ‘late onset’ rower. In her early 40s watching her son row. Rowing got under my skin and I was resolutely un-sporty before.
05:00 10 years ago she started the blog. The appeal was I was so bad at rowing and never won anything.
09:00 Winning my first race – I have a small collection of pots more from coxing than rowing. At Ross Rowing Club annual regatta. You never know who you will get to race against.
11:20 In rowing you have to have a level of competence. It’s a constant quest to get better. I was drawn in by the technical challenge.
14:00 My first rowing injury – my osteopath roller her eyes and said Oh, No! There’s only so much I can do for you. Rowers aren’t like other people.
I’ve rarely met another rower I didn’t like.
16:30 Popular blog posts. What not to wear when rowing. My other popular posts – Video of common mistakes on the erg.
Mental health. I think we should be mindful, I support Rowing Together for Healthy Minds
22:00 My cancer journey started in 2017 when I saw a strange thick area of tissue which didn’t feel right. I had a mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemo and a year of immunotherapy.
The rowing community support was overwhelming. It was the best move to be public about my cancer. Helene Raynsford gave me advice about pacing myself, hand hygiene.
26:00 How I handled it. I had FEC-T chemotherapy every 3 weeks. Afterwards I had a few days feeling rough, queasy and shooting pains. I waited them out. I walked every day I could. The second week I felt well enough to paddle in my single, gently. I learned to pace myself and listen to how I felt.
On my first outing I thought about competing at Ross Regatta – 4 weeks after my last infusion. I thought people would feel sorry for me. I started secret training doing a few little 3 minute pressure pieces.
31:00 What’d coming up? Rowers United to Save the Planet on Facebook
Blog posts on sustainability and tips and ideas to share.
Mental health posts.
Diversity and accessibility posts.

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