I am taught that “pull” means move things toward yourself and “push” means move things away from yourself.

Then I came across this.

I thought rowing would be a breeze. Then I took a seat in an eight-person boat, pulled on an oar and realized three things: I’m sitting backward, I don’t know where I’m going and I am the most uncoordinated man on Earth.

From https://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-getting-out-rowing-20151017-column.html

I am wondering when you are rowing, why you are pulling on an oar, but not pushing on an oar. Even after I have watched videoes about people rowing, I don't understand whether the oar moves toward or away from you.

  • I'm not sure if you're asking for help with the sentence, or an explanation of the mechanics of rowing. If the latter... i.gifer.com/PJ1.gif – Seymour Guado Aug 20 '19 at 13:53

In a rowing motion, the handles of the oars get both pulled toward you and pushed away from you. However, we usually focus on the motion when the blades of the oar are dipped in the water.

You can row either way, but normally the blades are dipped when you pull, so that the boat moves in the direction opposite the way the rower is facing. However, rowers can also row in "reverse" by pushing the oars instead of pulling them.

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