By Eric Fisher, WBZ-TVBy Eric Fisher

BOSTON (CBS) — Nearly 10,000 rowers will compete in this weekend’s Head of the Charles Regatta from all over the world. But what’s the attraction? What is it about rowing that hooks so many people? We went out on the water with one local woman today to find out.

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“In a race you should feel like you’re going to die, and be afraid that you won’t, that’s what racing feels like,” says Henriette Lazaridis Power. An author from Weston, she’s been rowing for 18 years. And even though racing takes a toll, she wouldn’t trade it. “I mean your toes go numb, your quads are burning, your abs are burning, you’re starting to feel faint and you can’t breathe and then you finish the race and your like, OK, when’s the next race?” she says.

Talking to her you get the feeling that being on the water is more than physical. “What’s nice about rowing is that you tend to row in a river that goes through an urban area, but it gives you this completely different perspective on that urban area,” she says. The feeling of being with nature is one of the things that helped her get started. “I just thought that the sport looked so beautiful,” she says.

GUIDE: Head Of The Charles

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During the Head of the Charles she’ll be part of a women’s quad team. “It’s the premier regatta in our sport. It is the Boston Marathon of rowing. The novices are working their best, and the elites are working at their bests, and those bests are different but everybody is trying as hard as they can and everybody comes out to cheer and it’s just so cool,” she says.

And on race day she’ll tackle the course with its’ 7 bridges and winding route remembering what’s most important. “It’s taught me how to push myself and that’s been transferable in other avenues in my life, and it’s given me a community that I can’t tell you how much I value,” she says. “It’s good for you. Rowing is good for you,” she adds.

Henriette is going to have a busy weekend. A newly published author of a novel called “The Clover House,” she’ll be part of the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, and then she’ll compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta on Sunday.

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Eric Fisher