Wednesday, June 14, 2006

2 Seat

Oh my word, rowing is fun! I just got back and I feel like I am floating away. Every single thing about crew--from tipping the boat into the water, to getting in and balancing your oars, to stroking at exactly the same pace--is completely serene and fantastic. There is something inexplicably exhilarating about moving in unison with seven other people to move a boat. You feel like you are a part of something much larger than yourself, like you are in control of the entire universe as you glide along the river.

Never in my life have I been part of a mechanism that is so dependent on unison. If you thought you could feel it in the scrum when something is slightly off, you have never been responsible for balancing a crew boat. If one oar is a fraction of an inch higher than the others, the whole boat tilts to the side and nobody can row properly. Every member of the team is absolutely crucial to the success and stability of every other member. It makes you feel so amazing and special.

As in rugby, in rowing I am number two! I am in the second seat from the bow and I am the person that rows the boat when we drift too far to port. Because we were beginners and spent most of our water time sitting still listening to instruction, we drifted to port a lot tonight. I think I rowed more strokes than anyone in the boat. That's ok!

It's been so long since I have tried anything new (apart from moving to a new city and starting a new graduate program...and planning a wedding) that I forgot how refreshing it can be to learn a new skill. I can immediately recognize what would draw people to the water the way I am drawn to the pitch. There is something magnetic about that number two and team sports. Whatever "it" is that allows people to appreciate the beauty of athletic endeavors, I am sure glad I have it. I feel so great right now.


ninny said...

sign me up!

Annie Oakley said...

I shall continue reading about your rowing adventures! And I must ask - how did you ever find me?

onion said...

So you've gone from, "I know they'll pick me last," to "I'm second on the team." I had no doubt you would be successful at your new are an awesome athlete...never doubt your abilities. Your 4th grade teacher told me you were one of the brightest students she ever had....

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