“Rowing. Should I or shouldn’t I? You decide.”

This was the question I asked on Facebook exactly three years ago.

Looking back, I’d forgotten how close I was to deciding against it. If my friends had pointed out that I was far too small (I had no idea you were supposed to be tall) or far too weak (I had no idea what an erg was), I might well have called it a day before I’d even begun. Three years on I’d be a reluctant runner who jogged along the riverbank and looked at the rowers, wondering if that might have been fun.

As it happens, my friends made my mind up for me.

“It’s fantastic exercise and being on the river is lovely!” said one.

“Should”, said another.

Even then, I wasn’t sure.

“I appear to have signed up for rowing”, I wrote a few days later. “First lesson on the river early Saturday morning. Will I grow enormous shoulders? More importantly, will I capsize?”

Thankfully, my friends scoffed at my fears, so off I went.

Three years later, I’d like to thank them for encouraging me to have a go. I haven’t grown enormous shoulders. I haven’t capsized (apart from when I attempted to row standing up, but that’s another story).

I have ended up with a handful of blisters and a drawer full of lycra. I’ve grown muscles where I didn’t know you could have them. I have even got a couple of medals to my name. But most of all I’ve found a sport that I’ll haul myself out of bed on a Sunday morning for. Seriously, I never thought that would happen.