“I had a lot of fear of the water. I almost drowned as a child, “says Catherine McLaughlin-Hill of Maine. A few years back she was courageous to take swimming lessons at the YMCA and today she’s out in her own rowing shell.
When her husband, David came home with 2 new Echo Rowing shells two summers ago, Catherine spent time learning to row from Lorna Perry, one of the Echo Rowing owners. “Lorna took the time to teach me personally. She’s the one that really taught me to row!”
Owning land on the bank of the Oyster River that has its own dock, was the incentive behind David’s purchase; that, and lots of enthusiastic stories from a co-worker who loved her rowing shell and spoke so highly of the stability and safety that these recreational rowing shells are renowned for. David spontaneously took a ride to Echo Rowing in Eliot, Maine and drove home that afternoon with one red and one yellow rowing shell.
“I’ve only been rowing for 2 summers. I’m really new at it, ” says Catherine. “But one day I was so confident about my rowing abilities that I got in my shell and was in the middle of the river before I realized I didn’t have my life jacket on!” Catherine never left the dock without her vest. She realized that she was in the middle of the river and she wasn’t afraid. She knew she was confident enough to get back to the dock. “I was ok, ” she said, “I wasn’t even afraid!” Yelling to her husband David, she told him she had forgotten her life jacket. “Well, I guess you didn’t need it, “he replied.
Breaking through her fears has had a huge impact on Catherine’s life. Rowing has met her spiritual need to be in nature and her need for time alone. Her courage and determination is evident in her independent journeys to the water at the end of the day.
“I can spontaneously, and in a moments notice, decide for myself that I am going to go out on the water. I can go down to the dock. I can put in the shell by myself, it’s so easy to carry and load. I can jump in and go, ” she says. At 42, Catherine gets to experience an independence that means a lot to her.
“Every time I go out there, it is definitely my spiritual connection to nature, ” states Catherine. Years ago she would have been too afraid to be on the water. Having worked through much of the fear, and having acquired land on the river with a dock, she really has conquered her fear and met several of her needs in doing so.
Today, Catherine enjoys her spiritual connection, independence and tranquility on the water; something that used to terrify her now excites her. Her learning experiences with Lorna of Echo Rowing helped her to recognize that she could be on the water and be safe. Rowing brings her more joy than she ever could have imagined!
J. Foster works with people across the country who are dealing with their fears, facing their inner challenges and developing new strategies for success. Echo Rowing is a Maine owned and operated rowing shell company. They design, manufacture and retail an innovative line of high performance rowing shells featuring their unique Echo Folding Rigger System. You can view their line of shells at http://www.echorowing.com