We tackle the Shark, and win!

What is a person to do when it’s yet another rainy day in the Greater Daglan Area? For us, the gloomy weather on Saturday morning was just right for staying indoors and doing battle with our new rowing machine, which had been delivered the day before.

As I’m sure you’ve discovered yourself, almost nothing is provided to the consumer these days ready to use. Instead, you get a large cardboard box jammed with various kinds of protective padding, several jangly plastic bags filled with screws and nuts and bolts, and a wide assortment of parts — from tiny to huge — that you are expected to assemble, following directions that have almost no words and lots of tiny diagrams.

So it was with our Shark, made (ostensibly) by the Fitness Doctor.

In case you’re wondering — “Why a rowing machine?” — the answer is that my wife Jan and I both like to exercise, but aren’t in love with walking or cycling when the weather is cold, or rainy, or both. So we have a stationary bike on the top floor of our house, which I have been using most days, and we did have a rowing machine located in our TV room/den on the ground floor. But the rowing machine broke, and trying to repair it was virtually impossible, so we gave up and ordered a new, heavier-duty rower: the Shark.

Naturally it has a display panel powered by two small batteries that is supposed to generate information like the number of strokes you’ve completed, the time you’ve spent rowing, and so on. Here’s what that part looked like, resting on a coffee table before we mounted it on the rower:

The control panel of the rower, before installation.

The control panel of the rower, before installation.

I should point out that this machine weighs a ton. (Okay, probably not actually a ton, but a lot.) This means that assembly was a two-person job, primarily because one person had to lift various parts of the machine off the floor so that the other person could put in the necessary screws or whatever.

In short, this Shark of ours is a very sturdy beast, as you can see from some of the major parts shown below, surrounding Jan:

Jan is surrounded by parts of our new rower.

Jan is surrounded by parts of our new rower.

And here it is, almost completely put together.

The rower is coming together!

The rower is coming together!

Finally, here is our Shark, ready to use, after not much more than an hour of assembly time:

The Shark, fully assembled and ready for a workout.

The Shark, fully assembled and ready for a workout.

Not surprisingly, both Jan and I used the rowing machine this morning, and both got quite a good workout in a fairly short time. When I say “not surprisingly,” it’s because the weather this morning was rainy once again.

When Jan went out at one point for a bit of shopping, she chatted with one local gentleman who said that he’s never experienced a worse spring in all of his 86 years in Daglan.

Surely the rain can’t go on forever. Can it?

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This entry was posted in Bicycling in the Dordogne, Exercise and fitness, Life in southwest France, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to We tackle the Shark, and win!

  1. Double D's says:

    Looks like a decent machine… but a shark? If you look at the last photo it looks more like a smiling horse or maybe a happy pony. (big read eye, small red nostril, little grin near the floor). Actually if you go back to photo 3 its absolutely a horse, it looks like the knight on my dusty chess set.

    Either way, we are impressed with your assembly and your enthusiasm for exercise (Chief Trainer)

  2. Loren says:

    Thank you, mighty Chief Trainer! Well, it’s not quite the boot camp that you’re into (with Chief Scout), but it will do. And I have to agree with you about how the rower looks. But you have to admit that the word Shark is a bit stronger than, for instance, Pony. Thanks for the comments!

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