MARYSVILLE — With school starting and football season kicking off, it’s time to return to fall sports — but it’s not just students who are getting back in the game. Lifetime Marysville resident Vonna Posey is working on her skills as a rower with the North Cascades Crew.
“I’ve been Marysville resident for my whole life,” said Posey, 58. “I lived in Stanwood for a bit, and then moved back and raised my kids.”
Although she has been active for most of her life, she’s had an interest in learning how to row for years.
“I started last September, but I wanted to row since seeing Meryl Streep in The River Wild. It looked so elegant and peaceful,” she said.
She was out in Lake Stevens with her daughter last spring, when she decided to give it a try.
“It was March and very cold. I looked up and someone was rowing through the mist, and it was just beautiful,” she said. “I started looking into rowing clubs, but the times weren’t cohesive to my working schedule. I met Jen Huffman, who rows with North Cascades Crew, and I learned there was another group only four miles from my house, which makes it really convenient.”
Posey works as a massage therapist and pet sitter, and takes time out of her busy schedule in the evening.
“I’m not a morning person,” she laughed. “I’ve been rowing twice a week and I took the ‘Learn to Row’ class. There is a lot to learn with this sport and I’m still learning. My goal was to row in a single.”
She has yet to compete in a race but doesn’t think that it will be too long before she accomplishes that goal.
“My coaches teach us to row in regattas,” she said. “I have the ability, but not yet the confidence. There are a few regattas coming up — Lake Sammamish, Everett Rowing Club at Ebey Slough in September and October.”
She has competed in other races, however, and just needs to feel confident on the water.
“I’ve done a 5K, I ride my bike and I’m fairly active,” she said. “I don’t have the competitive motivation but I’m extremely determined. I have grandboys, who are active boys, and I didn’t want to be sidelined. I want to be able to play with my grandsons and I knew I needed to develop strength.”
Learning to row was a new challenge, but one that Posey was happy to take on.
“Rowing is a very different sport,” she said. “There is nothing that I do in my regular life that prepares me to learn how to row. There is nothing that does what rowing does — it’s a thinking sport and it’s a physically demanding sport. You feel really good and you feel energized but you are tired too. You need a lot of hand-eye coordination to watch the body movements of your teammates. You are dependent on the person in front of you and you have to mimic their stroke. It’s learning to be a team and knowing I’m not the most important person in the boat — we are all important.”
A newfound love of rowing is something that Posey encourages others to pursue.
“If anyone has ever wanted to learn to row they should do it now. They shouldn’t wait,” she said. “It’s very affordable, and how physically fit I’ve gotten is the nicest surprise. Anyone who doesn’t like working out indoors should try rowing — it’s very physically demanding. I love what it’s teaching me and, of course, it’s really peaceful. I just want to be out there in the morning when the sun rises and the mist is coming off the water.”
For more information on North Cascades Crew, visit www.northcascadescrew.com.