Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life

#344 – Row. Row. Row Your … Rowing Machine?

July 16, 2021 Kyle M Case & Lil Barron Episode 334
Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life
#344 – Row. Row. Row Your … Rowing Machine?
Show Notes Transcript

Today’s guest is the director of one of our newest sports, Indoor Rowing. Irene Lysenko says she fell in love with rowing while living in Connecticut some fifteen years ago.  What was supposed to be rehab for an injured knee and a recreational pastime quickly turned into a six-day-a-week training schedule with competitions up and down the East Coast.  Irene joined Great Salt Lake Rowing nine years ago when she moved to Utah.  As much as she has enjoyed competing, she finds her greatest joy comes from teaching and coaching and watching others fall in love with the sport. The Huntsman World Senior Games will be offering Indoor Rowing for the first time ever in 2021. 

In addition, Kyle and Lil give some insight into one of the original sports at the Games, basketball.

Kyle Case  0:09  
Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. My name is Kyle Case and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in our studio today is my co pilot Lil Baron. 

Lil Barron  0:27  
How are you 

Kyle Case  0:28  
I'm good. Have a good day, I'm having a great day, awesome. It's warm. It's warm. It's warm. We're feeling that here and yeah and all the Western United States and St George, Utah is no exception. It's very warm. 

Lil Barron  0:42  
But I hear October is gonna be great. 

Kyle Case  0:44  
It's going to be fantastic. The weather is going to be awesome and perfect. So for the last sevearl weeks we have been highlighting some of our amazing sports. Today I want to continue that tradition and talk a little bit about basketball. Yeah, so we have got all kinds of basketball options at the games. I wanted to start us off with the one that actually started at all which is five on five basketball. So did you know five on five was one of the original sports at the Games? When we started the games in 1987. We had basketball. That's one of the, one of the originals.

Yeah, so five on five is played just like what you think it is it's full court basketball to ton of fun. Right now the market dictates that we offer five on five to only the guys. But we have a good number of teams that come out, it's a great tournament, very competitive, different age groups of course just a ton of fun. But that's not the only option that we have for basketball, like I said, we've got a bunch of stuff going on for both the men and the women. We offer three on three basketball as well. We have three was first offered at the Games in 1996. So a few years after games have started, but let me let me just say this about three on three it is really a different sport than five on five, they're both called basketball. They're both played with a round ball and then tried to make a basket in the hoop, but three on three it's it's just it's very physical, it's very fast pace, it's played on a half court and cinema full court, and it's just all about mentalism, and as it goes the same for both the men and the women, it's a very very physical game very fun to watch very very fast paced. But that's not all.

Lil Barron  2:32  
There's  more.

Kyle Case  2:33  
Khere's more. If you need a little more basketball in your life. We also offer basketball skills. So the Skills Competition was added in 1994, and it consists of two parts there's a three point competition and a hot shot competition in the hot shot each contestant is allowed two rounds, one minute each, they want to make as many baskets as possible from any of the five designated spots, and the competition starts, under the basket with a layup. That's the first spot where you start and then from there you can shoot wherever you want the basket. You get more points depending on which place you shoot from from one to five points. And the further away, that you shoot, of course, the more points that you can score very fast paced, and then we have some amazing shooters that come back year after year, and just shoot the, I just know a lot of them are in basketball shoes, shooting I think you'll find that a lot of times it's the guards that really excel so not always the tall ones. Anyway, lots of different things that I want to take a look at to consider for basketball. It's also worth noting that we still have room for teams in both five on five as well as three on three basketball. So if you're interested in, now's the time to get your team together and get registered, you can find out all that you need to know about registering for basketball, or any of our other 34 different sports, right at senior You'll find rule schedules venues, you'll see a big registration button that you'll click to get signed up, and you don't want to delay that early bird special ends on August 1, which is just around the corner 20 bucks if you register before that day that's also little worth mentioning that registration ends on September 1, which is also right around, right around the corner so you want to keep that in mind, put that on your calendars for sure. Now is the time to register. Now speaking of 35 different sports at the games. Today's guest is the director of one of our newest sports indoor rowing out very nice. So Irene Lesego says she fell in love with rowing while living in Connecticut some 15 years ago, which was supposed to be rehab for an injured knee and a recreational pastime but it quickly turned into a six day a week train scale with competitions, up and down the East Coast, and we're enjoying Great Salt Lake rolling nine years ago when she moved to Utah, and as much as she has enjoyed competing she finds her greatest joy comes from teaching and coaching and watching others fall in love with the sport as well so Irene, welcome to the show. 

Irene Lysenko  5:08  
Thank you. It's good to be here. 

Kyle Case  5:10  
We're, we're excited to learn a little bit more about rowing so, obviously, I think, you know, most of us have a concept of rowing a boat. Yes, right. That's rowing right but yeah it's kind of really what we're doing is called indoor rowing and it's takes place on the machine. Why don't you tell us just a little bit about, you know what the sport of indoor rowing really consists of, 

Irene Lysenko  5:33  
Well the sport of indoor rowing is really just a taste of what outdoor rowing is, it's where a lot of outdoor rowers go during the winter months to be able to continue training, but they're also a large group of the population that loves the rowing machine enough to just stick with indoor rowing and never make it out in a boat race. If you look around, CrossFit gyms across the country have a big rowing machine component to them. The latest franchise is row house, which are just pure rowing gyms that are popping up now across the country because there is such a demand for the sport. 

Kyle Case  6:19  
Wow, so rowhouse it's just it's the name of the like the like a 24 hour fitness or Gold's Gym or something like that interesting I'm not familiar with that one, but I'll have to keep my eyes out. It's interesting to me and you mentioned this, I read that the sport of competitive indoor rowing seems to have kind of grown out of the CrossFit movement. Although certainly, you know, we see, at least for those of us who are not in the industry we see once every four years the sport of rowing played out at the Olympics, right. And you know like I participated in one of those fringe sports too like I you know I wrestle so arose I have wrestled, I don't know if I'm, but anyway you know once every 40 years you hear a little bit about wrestling on, you know, the major networks and it's the same thing with a lot of those sports growing included, but, but do you think that's true as as everyone other CrossFit or was a really as demand for rowing and then it just kind of, it just kind of merged together. 

Irene Lysenko  7:17  
You know I think maybe it was the opposite. I would argue, and that the rowing machine was really originally developed for rowers, it wasn't designed as something for a CrossFit gym, and the rowers that we typically use the concept to are designed to train you and give you feedback that you can apply to on the water rowing. So I think the reason that it's, it's expanded at this point into CrossFit gyms and their own gyms is just that people have discovered that rowing is a workout for any age for any ability, and it's an amazing sport that ages with you rather than one that you would age out of, because as you get, as you get older, it's not the impact on your joints, it's, it's very comfortable in terms of your skill level, you don't have to be doing any dramatic movements, it's, it's a very simple, simple form, and as people have discovered what a great workout. It is rowing gyms and CrossFit gyms have joined into that to make that a part of what they do, because it really is that good of a workout. 

Kyle Case  8:33  
Yeah, I test that it is a workout. I, my gym they have. I don't know, three or four rowing machines and I'll admit I don't use them every day. In fact, it's been a little while since I've used it, but the times that I have used it. You definitely feel a workout and that's what I was going to ask you, I think a lot of us, you know, maybe have a membership at a gym and you see these rolling machines wherever they are in the corner, front and center wherever they are. Some people might look at those who feel a little intimidated, is there any reason to feel that way or should you just jump on it and go for it.

Irene Lysenko  9:06  
You know I really think that it is kind of a personal, personal decision based on your personal skill level your athleticism at that point, I would always, always recommend that anyone who is getting into rowing on a rowing machine for the first time, get some private instruction on technique, because when you're, when you're doing it wrong, you do run the risk of things like lower back injuries if you're pulling too hard from the back instead of incorporating your legs and things like that. So yeah, it's always a good idea to get someone to help you out with technique if it's something that you're going to take on. But there are also great YouTube videos out there and other ways that you can learn the sport so just, you know, just make sure you're doing it safely like any other sport that you would pick up. 

Kyle Case  9:52  
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's great advice for warming up that's the word. We talked a little bit about seeing these machines in gyms and workout facilities, do a lot of people buy their own machine and then use it a home or is it cost prohibitive, or or how if you really wanted to get into it. How would you go about that. 

Irene Lysenko  10:14  
Well, if you really wanted to get into it, I think it's important to figure out what your end goal is, if you just want to be an indoor rower and get good at it. Absolutely invest in your own in your own rowing machine, you can get a used one from around 100 to $1,000 for a new one for you know, anywhere from 1000 to 1500 depending on what you're looking for. And also just depending on the brand that you're using, but the thing that is fabulous about the indoor rowing community is that there is a huge online support group for anyone who wants to take it on. Particularly, you are also involved in any outdoor rowing, you can always find people and videos, and help to maximize your use of the machine, anywhere you are. 

Kyle Case  11:03  
Awesome, sounds great. So, you, you and your, your committee kind of approached us at the games and said hey why don't why don't you offering indoor rowing at the Senior Games and we had to look at it, but why aren't we. Why not talk a little bit about what your goals are in, including or wanting to have roaming included in the games and in an event like the Senior Games. 

Irene Lysenko  11:31  
Okay, well, you know, like I mentioned before, it is a sport that is ideal to age into so when we're looking at a community of growers over 50 years old, that are looking to maintain flexibility and athleticism and competitiveness. There really is no, no better sport than rowing to introduce to that age group. When you know we used to when I used to show my geometry but now we're on the water. We had rowers with us that were in their 90s. And we're out there, with great form great technique I loved what they were doing, you really, you don't ever have to look forward to a day, where, oh, I can't do this anymore unless there is a serious injury or, you know, a serious breakdown in terms of your, of your body, it really is a sport you can do forever unlike some of the basketball, tennis, other sports that are slowing you to require you to run and, you know, and really do some more jarring activity to your body. 

Kyle Case  12:40  
No, that's, that's a great point and yeah, you know I mean everybody of course has their own passion and their own excitement about the sports that they play, but there are, there are some sports that certainly, you just never a doubt, you know, I know that my wife thinks I should have aged out of wrestling 25 years ago, you know, and she's probably right in a million ways but it really does feel like, again, something that you can just do for as long as you want and as long as you're able. As long as you're doing it correctly and you mentioned there is some form and technique and I would suspect it's like anything but the more you do it the better you get at it and so forth. I'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about how the sport itself has evolved into a competition and, you know, how does, how does it have the start and where are we going, what's the future. 

Irene Lysenko  13:31  
Well we're going to talk about the very beginning so throwing I think that was corporal punishment under the Vikings.

Kyle Case  13:38  
I think it was right.

Irene Lysenko  13:40  
We've refined it since then to make it less, less painful and a little bit more fun, or more rewarding, and a little more rewarding. Yeah, so, you know, rowing has been around for, for hundreds of years. In terms of the sport. It started out very much as a rich man's gentleman's sport, not a lot of women involved. And, and that really broke out back in 1936 in the Olympics when we sent our first non Ivy League school to the Olympics, or for the, the Olympics in Germany under Hitler, and that was, Washington. the boys in Washington, if you've ever heard of the book The Boys in the Boat who knew all about that, you know, but over time it just like we've evolved in anything rowing has evolved into being, being something that anyone can access, and something that we want, what our goal is as a club is to bring it to the general community, and keep bringing those that maybe wouldn't have access to the sport, an opportunity to learn it because that's, you know you look across all of us rowing and across all of rowing across the board. Our goal really is to now make it something that is accessible for everyone in one form or another. And that includes indoor rowing, because it's, it's just a great way to be connected to an athletic community for forever so started out very, very long time ago and today, we're just trying to make it something that as many people as possible can enjoy. 

Kyle Case  15:25  
Well, it sounds like it's definitely in growth mode and continuing to expand which is very exciting. Not only for a rower but exciting for us. You know, potential market that we're going to be able to work into and and see grow and expand. Tell us a little bit about the events that will be competed at the games themselves. 

Irene Lysenko  15:47  
Okay. Yeah, we're actually very excited about the events that we're going to be presenting. The first one is going to be the standard 2000 meter race that really across all of rowing as the standard race it takes between eight and 10 minutes depending on, on your strength. And it's just an all out how fast can you wrote 2000 meters on a rowing machine. So that's, you know, going to be more serious we'll also have a 5000 meter row which would be considered more of the length of a head race row and something that requires just like a marathon versus a sprint requires a little bit different strategy and the rowers and allows them to, to, maybe excel in one side of the sport where maybe sprinting might not be their thing. And then finally, just, just for the absolute fun and camaraderie that we are putting together a relay team so that in 2000 meters each member of the Forman team will row 500 meters out and then hop off and someone else will hop on and continue. So those will be the events that will be presenting this year, we're really excited.

Kyle Case  16:57  
I'm curious about this relay. So, the rowing machine that I use in here I'm super inexperienced, but we'll use the one FF MMA gym, but it has little straps for your feet to go in, saying, is there like, is there a skill to transitioning as quickly because I'm assuming that the transition is probably where the race is won or lost in many cases. 

Irene Lysenko  17:21  
Yeah, in many cases and you know that's where you bring up a good point because it's kind of an advantage to roll with people that are the same size you are so that you don't have to be making adjustments in between now one person's foot might not fit in another person's size 13 and vice versa. Yeah, there's definitely some planning and strategy but at the end of the day it's when you get off you just get on and go as fast as you can, can you pick up the bandages where you can do the process. So every roller has a little computer on it that tells you how far you're, you've gone and how fast you're going. So we just you're just going to pull for 500 and then you just jump off the next person jumps on hold for 500 days, first one 2000 Exactly. And the fun part to it is you know for spectators anybody that wants to come and watch it, the program that we use uses a projector system so while the indoor rowers are rowing, we have boats that are projected up on the wall that represent each of the rowers, so it really is presented as a race, race, yeah, for, for people that would rather watch the boats on the wall, people, you know, on, on the Earth's or on the rowing machines, so, so it's a fun presentation, it's a great place for spectators to to come and watch. 

Kyle Case  18:33  
That is awesome. I did not know that there was a computer on each one of the rowers and obviously that's how you tell. But this says, I'm excited to come and see this projection with boats, racing against each other. That sounds good. So tell us, you've been a member of Salt Lake roaming tell us a little bit about that club is that exclusively indoors or both indoor and outdoor or how does that work. 

Irene Lysenko  19:00  
Great Salt Lake growing is an is a cycling club, we roll out on the Great Salt Lake. And we grow from between March and November typically just kind of depending on what the winner is doing. But in those winter months. Right after the holidays January through March, we go exclusively indoor rowing, and that's how we keep in shape and keep where we need to be to be able to compete in the spring we do travel to compete, both in the spring and fall on other bodies of water and other states so it's for us it's just part of our year round, training program for what we want to do but we have you know approximately 50 members, and we have anywhere from people who just like to ERG to people who just like to recreationally to people that like to grow competitively and really get out there and see what they can do. So we kind of cover it all. 

Kyle Case  19:55  
That sounds like fun and we have we have listeners from all over the place all over the country, all over the world even within the United States I'm assuming that every state has some Rowing Club that would be available is that, is that fair to assume or maybe 

Irene Lysenko  20:09  
Not every state, every state I mean I know there isn't one in Idaho because I went looking at the water. Water affair, but I would, I would say any state that has a substantial body of water that you can run there's a pretty good chance that there, there is going to be at least one Rowing Club in the state. Social was interested in, they just go Google search to see if there are rowing clubs around and check it out. Absolutely. In your club, 

Lil Barron  20:39  
I just have a question. So, how many people are on a boat. How does that work. 

Irene Lysenko  20:45  
Um, it depends on the type of boat, there are actually two types of rowing out there. There is sweeps rowing, which is what you typically see in the Olympics when you see eight people in a boat and each person in the boat has one big or that alternates down the boat. So that's that sweet throwing schooling every person in the boat has two wars, so it's a little bit more like a rowing machine so if you're if you're a skuller, always using two boats we have one person two person and four person boats. Okay. And then the difference again with sweeps is that they go up to any age and then boats, where we don't so very very Yeah.

Kyle Case  21:30  
You know this is just a sport, I'm just not all that familiar with and very excited to see it played out and watch the competition and learn a little bit more about it. We have tentatively we've scheduled as staff experience. We are going to have these machines. And you know what none of us are competitive at all. So, anyway, we just got to pick a date for that 

Irene Lysenko  21:59  
but very excited to be there to watch this.

Lil Barron  22:04  
You don't want to trust me

Kyle Case  22:12  
We're very excited to be associated with you and your organizing committee and club that's helping put this on and we're just really looking forward to seeing it grow and become, you know, kind of a staple here at the game. I'm really looking forward to it, 

Irene Lysenko  22:29  
As are we so definitely please come and check us out. Give us a watch and tell us what you think. 

Kyle Case  22:36  
Awesome. So we've only got just a few seconds left, but last minute advice, what would you tell somebody that they just, they just need to know about rowing to, you know, get off the bubble and decided to give it a try.

Irene Lysenko  22:49  
I would say it's, it's easy. If money is easy and you get so much reward for your effort in it so if you're looking for something, a new challenge, or just to get out of your funk. Yeah, give it a try, definitely give it a try. Awesome. 

Kyle Case  23:06  
Yeah, I read thank you so much for joining us yes thank you look forward to seeing you in October and watching this competition, it's gonna be a lot of fun. 

Irene Lysenko  23:14  
Well thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure. And we'll see you then.

Kyle Case  23:18  
Okay. So you got to start practicing for our day it's coming. That's gonna be fun.

So just to wrap us up here I mentioned at the beginning, I'm just going to keep mentioning it registration is open for the husband world so your games, you can say $20, again, just to reminder. By registering before August 1 And then remember, don't forget that that registration deadline is September 1 After that we don't accept any more registrations so don't dawdle. Get that registration taken care of. You can check out all those schedules rules dates or COVID-19 plan, all of that's available at SR Gamestop man, there's also just a bunch of other content there we've got health and wellness blog posts, we have access to our living your best life webinar series, just a lot of information on active aging, as well as the sports and the schedules and everything else that goes on. It's also worth mentioning that you can register now to volunteer for the ads. And, man, we need a truckload. Yes. It takes about 3000 volunteers to pull this party off, and there are opportunities in sports or if sports isn't your thing, we have a bunch of other areas right, you can still step in and help us out, you can register by day or by interest, it's very easy to do. Again, that is all at When you register for helping out and into volunteer at the games, you'll be entered in a drawing for a brand new event I know that from shiny bikes which is very exciting so check that out once again Senior Games dotnet. We want to remind you to tune in live next and every Thursday at 5:30pm Mountain Time on AM 1450 or FM 93.1 for the Huntsman World Senior Games active life. We think this live show, and we turn it into a podcast and you can also subscribe to the podcast pretty much anywhere that their fan pick your favorite listener and go ahead and subscribe if you are listening by Podcast Take a moment and give us a rating and write a quick review, one of the best and easiest places to leave a review is And then you can find this and other shows right on our website and once again, senior VMs dotnet today's inspirational thought, Okay, it's from Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan. And he says, Some people want it to happen. Some wishes would happen, and others make it happen. Until next Thursday, stay active.

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