Naiades Oncology Rowing

Cancer Survivors Rowing for Recovery

2020, Moving on....

& Looking toward Summer!:

COVID-19 continues to impact the 2020 rowing season. As communities open we hope everyone continues to observe the social distancing guidelines.

Contained in the sections below our newsletter directs your thoughts to a safe return to the water by sharing rowing and health information to think about, and a quote to live by. We continue to physically prep for getting back on the water by offering virtual and outdoor Workout Sessions.

On our website Home Page, and calendar displays the current plan and scheduled workouts for the 2020 season.:

To the Naiades Oncology Rowing Supporters, Sponsors, and Partners.

Naiades Oncology Rowing is an important aspect of life for many of us. It gives us an opportunity to socialize, collaborate, exercise with individuals who share the cancer experience, but most importantly, it offers a unique way to heal.

We want to take a moment to thank all our business supporters who through their generosity make our rowing club possible. Especially, we want to mention our small business supporters who need your continued support during these trying times. Here are a list of the businesses both large and small who have supported us in the past:

Naiades 2020 Golf Scramble Tournament

You can safely take a break for some good fun on Sunday August 23, 2020 at the Lima Golf & Country Club! Shotgun start at 12 noon. Food, beverage and door prizes will be provided. CDC guidelines will be followed. Further details can be found under the fundraisers and golf 2020 tabs on the web page:

Summer Training Session

Per US Rowing: "No team boats should be allowed until social distancing guidelines are lifted."

Due to this determination, we do not know when we will be able to start team boats, but are monitoring the situation closely. Until such time, the Program Committee has devised a way to keep you fit and in touch through a virtual workout program and will be adding outdoor workouts weather permitting. The workout schedule is designed to prepare you for the on-the-water schedule of Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:45pm to 7:30pm.

Starting the first week in June we plan to offer Zoom one day and an outside work-out

the other day. Each Monday you will be notified of the weeks workout plan, plus it will be on the web page calendar. You will want to have handy light weights, a towel and a mat for the workout. The last 20 minutes will be devoted to Yoga.

We are hoping to add our other outdoor activities weekly while respecting social distancing guidelines. If you are interested in joining our workouts please please email: to guarantee you receive Monday's notice.

Recommended Safety and Practices for Rowers

At Naiades Oncology Rowing, we want to ensure that your experience is not only enjoyable, but also safe.

Dr. Michael Penkin, owner and practitioner at Pinnacle Hill Chiropractic has shared some tips on rowing fitness, exclusively for Naiades Oncology Rowing. Dr. Mike understands the importance of maintaining peak physical condition as a way to obtain optimal quality of life as well as improve athletic performance.

Pinnacle Hill Chiropractic, 585-444-7325.

Rowing is an incredible sport and can be an incredible workout. It is a hybrid movement that can be used for cardiovascular exercise, explosive power, strength, etc. It hits just about every muscle in the body similarly to the deadlift. However, just like the deadlift, there is potential for injury in various structures of the body, specifically, the lower back. Low back pain seems to be the chief complaint when an avid rower walks into our office.

There are a few different low back injuries that can occur as a result of rowing, including but not limited to: intervertebral disc injuries, joint sprains, muscle spasms, as well as tendinopathies and muscle strains, etc. The typical cause of injury during rowing is repetitive motion injuries. These injuries have three specific factors: frequency, duration, and load. Do just about anything a thousand times over the course of days, weeks, months, years, and you are bound to suffer some sort of injury.

When it comes to the intervertebral discs, when rowing and in life, when you repetitively flex and extend a disc that is under load, you create microscopic tears in the outer fibers of the disc. If the movement pattern that causes this repetitive stress on the disc is not corrected, the material inside the disc will be compressed and be push in the opposite direction of movement. In the case of rowers, it is often posteriorly due to the amount of flexion the lumbar spine can undergo in the initial positions of the catch and the drive. This can cause a bulging disc, a herniated disc, and possibly radiculopathy, which is irritation to a nerve root.

Additionally, when flexion and extending the low back paraspinal muscles repetitively, you cause tearing in the muscles on a cellular level. This is the basis for muscle hypertrophy. During a workout, you tear muscle fiber, then allow it to recover, it grows back bigger and stronger, and you do it all over again. However, the muscle fiber type of the low back musculature does not respond well to this type of stimulus. They tend to perform better with an isometric contraction where they do not change lengths drastically.

So how can we prevent these types of injury? Ideally, it is through good set up and form. Like I mentioned earlier, the catch is not unlike the deadlift. When trying to get maximum drive and pull, you might be tempted to go really far into the catch and over-reach. This is similar to doing a deficit deadlift where the weight is significantly lower than you. In order to reach that far, you’ll have to bend through the spine, maximally flex your hips, come up on your toes even. And then, now that you’re in this maximally flexed and compressed position, you begin the drive. This exerts tremendous stress on the lumbar discs. A safer alternative might be to limit the depth of your catch to maintain a nice neutral spine. The spine loves neutral and performs extremely well under load when forces are distributed evenly throughout the disc and the joints.

Conversely, through the drive, you may be tempted to extend back as far as well to again, maximize your pull. Going from that highly compressed position to an over-extended position continues to put additionally stress on the disc. This is what can lead to tears in the disc, which over time can lead to a disc bulge, herniation etc. Alternatively, instead of extending through the low back, it may be more advantageous to extend through the hips. This will allow for more gluteal and hamstring muscle activation as opposed to lumbar paraspinal musculature activation.

Ultimately, the idea is to keep the spine as neutral as possible throughout the entirety of the row. It is effective for a powerful stroke, but most importantly limits the potential for injury.

Rowing Terms

At Naiades Oncology Rowing, we believe that education is powerful. We would like share our knowledge or rowing terms. Every issue of the newsletter, we will be sure to add more terms for your knowledge:

Parts of a Stroke:

  • Catch - the seat toward the stern, back and arms straight, arms extended fully, knees bent deeply, shins perpendicular to the water. This is the beginning stroke in the water
  • Drive - Straighten legs, slide seat toward bow, pull together the bow with torso. Keep arms out straight and at a constant level, keep knees between arms. Complete the drive by leaning back and pulling the oars toward the abdomen
  • Release - Leaning back, lift the oar blades with a slight downward push on the handles, simultaneously twist the oar so it feathers the blade parallel to the water
  • Recovery - Extend arms forward, slide seat toward stern, bring thighs up to chest. Moving together and lightly to not interrupt the forward movement of the shell
Technique as demonstrated here:

Run: The distance a shell moves during one stroke

Stern: The back/rear of the boat

Quotes to Live By:

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
John Lennon☮☮☮

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Tips and links...

Amazon Smile donations: Remember us when shopping online through Amazon. go to and select "Naiades Oncology Rowing" and then shop with AMAZON SMILE.


Consider adding a loved ones name to our newest boat -- DRAGONFLY. We are accepting names of survivors or cancer victims for the side of the boat and the oars. New names will be added in the spring before DRAGONFLY hits the water again. Application form found here: We can send a postcard notifying your family if you request it.

For your convenience payment for Spirit Fund, Golf, Programs, & Events, except clothing, are accepted on PayPal:

Naiades Spirit Wear: Spirit Wear is currently under construction and we will have updated options shortly.


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