WHY I ROW
Name: Melinda Szuts
Occupation: PhD researcher in drama and theatre studies at NUIG, theatre director
1. When did you begin rowing?
I started in 2012 when I was an Erasmus student in Limerick. I am originally from Hungary, which is known to be a “rowing nation”, so it seemed strange that I had to come to Ireland to experience this wonderful sport for the very first time. I had a break for a couple of years, then re-started in 2016 at NUIG. I am with Tribesmen since 2017.
I have two answers for that. One is quite obvious and general and the other is more private and was probably more important at that time. I have always loved everything that happens in and on the water, so I wanted to find a sport activity that involved being outside and surrounded by the flows of a beautiful river or lake. I also liked the way it engaged both the mind and the body. But most importantly I had a wonderful teacher at my Hungarian university who had this strange and adorable hobby of going out to the water regularly for spins in his own, self-built sculling boat to ease the pressures of academic life and to keep his body in shape in spite of the endless sitting that comes with being a researcher and a teacher. I said to myself: wow. I want to be like that! And since then the more I sit in the office staring at poets’ manuscripts or students’ essays the more I understand the need to have that soul-healing physical activity in our lives.
3. Do you have a favourite seat?
It depends on my mood. I enjoy being stroke and give the rhythm to the crew. It is also nice to freely look around from there and see the odd swans. However, when I am a bit messy or have not had enough sleep I rather go with the in-between-seats and power up the spin without too much responsibility.
4. What was your top challenge?
I am always challenged when I go out, because I have a lot to learn! Tribesmen has many of the country’s most experienced rowers so I am constantly trying to grow to reach to their standard. Well okay, learning to steer the Baumgarten blue boats was definitely one of the most enjoyable challenges I had so far.
5. What is one thing you would like to learn/improve? Top goal.
I would love to be as confident to simply go out on my own. I have trained much in quads and eights but have less experience with doubles or single sculling. I would like to improve in that. Also, since all my rowing experience happened on Irish waters and mostly in wind and rain, my dream is to go out on the Danube in my home country in hot, summer weather in a swimming suit!
6. Favourite Spin?
In the morning sunshine, turning towards the vastness of Corrib lake. Always.
7. What do you love most about rowing?
The little healthy pains in my thighs and lower back, the beautiful landscape, the sound of the oars in the water, and the concentration in the boat that excludes everything from daily life. On the water it is just you, the boat and the rhythm.