Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Today, I rowed with the big boat. After the captain's meeting, we discovered the tech nerds boat needed a rower. The tech nerds have been rowing together since January. I've seen them on the river. They can turn around! They can row backwards! They are very advanced. The head coach looked around at the ranks of novices, in search of a good enough rower to not tip their boat. "Take that girl, with the camelpak."


I left the whiny nurses behind and skipped to the dock, with my new nerdy team of pleasant people who don't talk except to repeat the coxswain's calls. We pushed off from the dock and rowed, all eight of us, in unison. It was terrifying and fabulous at the same time. "Cup the sparrow, cup the sparrow," I repeated in an effort not to death grip my oar. I glided along behind Bob. I dipped my blade into the river. I finished my stroke. I rowed.

I looked over my shoulder after awhile and saw the ninth street bridge approaching. I was so excited to be rowing in unison with my nerdy friends, I hadn't noticed when we hit the "open water" of the river. Booze cruisers swished passed us. The Gateway Clipper drenched us with an enormous wave of brown water, but we didn't care or notice.

After my long and tedious hours in the factory, I thought that repetitive motions such as rowing would take me back to that miserable place where my brain shut down. But I am surprisingly mesmerized by the rhythm of the oar. I don't even get motion sickness. I just row.

As I glided along riverbank watching the fisherpersons cheer for our boat, I knew why people fall in love with this challenge. I have never been so thankful to have a distinctive accoutrement. My lucky camelpak has earned me a seat in the good boat.

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