Team Trident Race to the Start line
Row2Recovery’s Team Trident showcased their First Degree Fitness Viking Pro indoor rowers at the Grainger Group’s Aldershot Active Awards on July 19. The aim of the event was to encourage children and young adults to get outdoors, challenge themselves and learn how to lead healthy and active lives.
Team Trident’s Jon Armstrong said attending the event was the main highlight of the last few weeks, as they race towards the start line of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Race.
“Seeing the enjoyment and excitement of the hundreds who took part in the launch was truly inspirational and, importantly, the children got to experience rowing on a water rowing machine which gave them a realistic simulation of what rowing a boat on water would be like,” he said.
Much to our surprise, Jon said he hasn’t always enjoyed rowing, despite committing to one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet with Jordan Beecher, a four time Invictus Games gold medallist, European indoor rowing champion and Team GB rower. Reflecting back on the past year and a half, he said he realised he didn’t have much experience with the sport prior to training for this challenge.
“Of course, I always appreciated that the sport of rowing and the rowers themselves were tough. I also knew from having a sister who was captain of her university rowing club that people who subjected themselves to the torture of a competitive rowing regimen where, frankly, slightly off their rockers,” he said.
“I cannot truthfully say that I enjoyed my first indoor rowing experience. Having committed to rowing the Atlantic [with Jordan], I promptly left on deployment to hot and dusty Afghanistan where rowing is not exactly the national sport. I put the row to the back of my mind until one day I was eating lunch with a friend and mentioned the challenge to him. With hindsight, I know I should have kept my mouth shut but when he said “oh, I used to row on the GB development squad, fancy a couple of coaching sessions?” I stupidly agreed… Andy, a typical Yorkshireman, was not exactly a forgiving task master and I was glad to make good my escape from Afghanistan six months later!”
After his first indoor rowing experience on a poorly maintained, rusty rowing machine, Jon said he and Jordan never intend to sit on anything but an FDF water rower ever again.
“I still struggle mentally with indoor rowing but, thanks to the fact that the Viking Pro water rower is so easily transported, I have been able to take it outdoors and enjoy the sensory simulation and realistic professional stroke of the First Degree Fitness’ patented fluid innovation technology. It’s then I can almost believe that I am out on the water,” he said.
After being subjected to hours and hours of misery and pain on the rusty indoor rower in Afghanistan, Jon said he first experienced on-water rowing when he met up with Jordan after arriving back in the UK.
“Having hated the indoor rowing experience, my eyes were immediately opened as soon as I got on the water and I finally understood why people love the sport of rowing so passionately. For me, the beauty of rowing comes from the immediate reward you get when you feel the boat’s acceleration as you drive your legs, back and arms to the rear in a smooth action. There is nowhere to hide on a rowing boat and you cannot lie to yourself if you are not putting the effort in as the results are clear to see in the distance you cover with each stroke.” he said.
Team Trident will continue training for their upcoming race on their FDF Viking Pro indoor water rowers.
“It is comforting to know that even though the mad dash to the start line is almost upon us and there is a whole lot more work to be done, at least we know that we have got our water resistance training covered in the most realistic way possible,” said Jon.