Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rowing instructor shapes body, mind

Not long after Helen Baines gave birth to her first child, she and a pal from a baby care class took up rowing to "get their figures back," recounts her husband, Gary. Their teacher was Helen's friend's husband, Ted Nash — who had won an Olympic gold medal in rowing two years earlier.

The women began to compete in the sport, with Nash as their coach.

"The next thing I knew, I was talked into rowing by Ted," says Gary Baines. He, too, became devoted to it.

Even with a growing family, dental school at the University of Kentucky, a residency in pediatric dentistry at Harvard and establishing a new practice in Tampa, Baines made time to row competitively beginning in the 1960s.

He says he won many races on the standard course of 1,000 meters, or about 1,093 yards. Times for those races are around four minutes. Standard collegiate and Olympic courses are around 2,000 meters, or about 1 1/4 miles.

Baines quit competing in the early 1990s. By then, his good friend and racing partner, Milo Vega, a founder of the Tampa Rowing Club, had died of a heart attack while rowing on the Hillsborough River.

Baines has never giving up rowing, which he says is great exercise for people of any age: It is a low-impact activity that works legs, back, arms and stomach muscles.

"Rowing is a sport that a beginner can do without hurting himself or herself. It takes time, however, to learn the strokes, (the) balance . . . "

People with back, leg and joint problems also are able to row, he continued. Another benefit:

"In combination with a good diet, rowing can help with weight loss. An elite male rower can eat 6,000 to 8,000 calories daily just to maintain weight. Women like the weight loss in their bottoms."

In addition to all these physical benefits, Baines added, "It also works the mind. Rowing requires some pretty intense concentration: As a Zen-like activity, it is very easy to forget everything else and just concentrate on the form, the power and the feel of the shell gliding along the water."

Masters level competitors are divided into age groups. Older rowers are given a handicap that evens the rowing course. Regattas often have races that include all age divisions. The Tampa Rowing Club has a number of senior rowers, including one who began rowing at 78.

Rowing instructor shapes body, mind 08/25/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Don't miss Israel Horovitz's 'Gloucester Blue' at Jobsite Theater


    TAMPA — Sometimes a show comes along that does everything. It engages the senses on every level, tells a story that feels real, and keeps you guessing to the end.

    Ned Averill-Snell (left) plays Latham and Landon Green is Stumpy in Jobsite Theater's Gloucester Blue. Photo by Pritchard Photography.
  2. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren joins other prosecutors in protesting Jeff Sessions' 'tough-on-crime' policy


    TAMPA — Andrew Warren, the state attorney for Hillsborough County, is among signers of a letter from 31 district prosecutors nationwide voicing opposition to the tough-on-crime policies of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Hillsborough State Atttorney Andrew Warren is among the signers of a letter from 31 top prosecutors nationwide opposing Attorney General Jeff Sessions' 'tough-on-crime' policies. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times
  3. Suspect tells police he killed Tampa Palms roommates for disrespecting his Muslim faith


    TAMPA — A man accused of shooting his roommates in a New Tampa apartment told police he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with the two men until he converted to Islam then killed them because they disrespected his faith.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, of Tampa told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam and shot them because they disrespected his faith.
[Photo courtesy of Tampa Police]
  4. Nelson, Rubio want Trump to back off cuts to drug office


    Citing an opioid crisis “devastating Florida,” Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio are asking the Trump administration to back off plans to gut the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    A letter to the Office of Management and Budget
  5. US President Donald Trump, left,  meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Monday, in Jerusalem. Trump opened his first visit to Israel Monday, a two-day stop aimed at testing the waters for jumpstarting the dormant Middle East peace process. [AP photo]