“If one guy messes up, then it messes up the whole boat, so everyone has to be accountable,” he said. “When we are all doing it together, it feels really good working as a team. We may not win the regatta, but we will be in there trying. Never give up.”
The group from Bethany has 22 members, enough to fill two boats. Normally they practice at Lake Overholser, but because of recent storms flooding the area, they were forced to move to the river.
“This is something we are all really enjoying,” Cramer said.
“It's even gotten our husbands off the couch. There's just something about feeling the wind through your hair and the mist of the water spraying, it makes me feel strong and healthy.”
Pace, 16, works with Riversport and is the coach for the Bethany YMCA team. He pushes the team harder than one might think considering most of the participants are nearly 50 years older than he is.
“They are definitely overcoming the limitations that I thought they would have,” Pace said. “There is another group I coach, but they blow them out of the water.”
Cramer ended up convincing her husband, Jerry, to join her in the boat, and she said he has ended up loving it more than anyone.
“It's a great whole body workout, and it's a lot of fun,” he said. “To me, the best experience is when we are approaching the finish line and we are all going as fast as we can. It's like all of these pistons hitting simultaneously. It feels like you are powerful.”