Our Membership and Events Officer Nina shares her story of how she's fitted in time to learn around her life as a busy working mum and the benefits of taking up a new hobby.

With a busy life as a working mum, I often think I haven’t room in my brain to learn anything new or take on much more information, with a never ending to do list running through my mind, but last summer I decided I wanted to give rowing a go.  I regularly see people rowing along the canal as I commute home on the tram, and had always fancied giving it a go, so on a whim I called up a couple of local rowing clubs and enquire about taster sessions and by chance they were starting a 6 week learn to row course the next weekend.

7 months on and I am still rowing weekly, and loving it!

The challenge

The challenge of learning a new skill has been exciting and challenging. Learning not just how to row (or scull in my case), but mastering the right techniques, learning new terms, how to carry a boat correctly, and even how to get in and out of the boat, it has been such a learning curve. It has also shown the importance of co-operation, learning to row in sync with team mates, understanding all our strengths and weaknesses, and trusting each other to keep going and sit tall when the boat rocks.

Surprised myself

I have also learnt things about myself, that I am stronger and more resilient than I expected, I can find peace and shut my mind off from the rest of life when out on the water, and I can even face horrible cold wet mornings for the love of being out in the boat.

So, it seems I do have room in my brain for learning something new after all, room in my skull for sculling!

Has Nina's story inspired you? Enter our Love to learn competition with a story of your own and you could win a £100 Waterstone's voucher (T&C's apply). Find out more below.

Love to Learn competition information