Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Other Rowing Blogs

Aside from the usual rowing columns that occasionally show up on Row2k, I haven't really come across more rowing-related blogs. But I did find this one, Fight in the Dog, on the Schuylkill Navy Home Page. It's a blog dedicated to collegiate lightweight women's rowing, which is a minority that is slowly following in the steps of collegiate openweight women's rowing on smaller campuses across the country. Check it out.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Spring Break is rapidly approaching. I suppose that's a good thing; we'll spend the week here, getting faster and faster. But there's something looming over my shoulder, as well, because there's so much pressure around this time of year. Not only are we gearing up for crew now that we're on the water and our first race is only two weeks away (holy shit!), but all the professors seem to think that they're the only ones who are clever enough to use the weeks before and after Spring Break for midterms. I have tests every day from now until break, and then two more when we get back on campus. It's crunch time like you wouldn't believe.

Today, we had a midterm in one of the core classes for my major, and pretty much everyone bombed it. The fact that it was at the beginning of the day didn't really help set the tone at all; practice had been cancelled due to thunderstorm conditions that might rain us out tomorrow morning, too. All in all, it had been a very shitty day.

So when the rain really started coming down tonight, I decided to go for a run, regardless of the fact that I still have assloads of homework and practice in less than eight hours. I went and got one of my friends out of her room (she bombed with me), and we went and played football in the muddy quad for an hour or so.

And I gotta tell you, it was just what I needed. Forget practice and that 2K that we've got this week. Forget the homework that I've got piled on my back. Forget the midterms that are going to sink me this semester. I'm so tired of trying to be a responsible student/athlete that I've forgotten to have fun along the way. Tonight, it was just about getting dirty as hell and flirting with the girl who's muddy ass gave me a good excuse to stare. I've got those finals tomorrow, and I've got homework that I have to do, but it's okay. Because I had fun tonight. And you only live once.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Gay Games

There seems to be a fight brewing in the Midwest over the Gay Games, an all-inclusive athletic event that is going to have competitors from all over the world. According to their website, the games are: "open to anyone. There are no qualifying events, no minimum or maximum requirements, and no mandatory affiliations. The Games are built on the founding principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best, and promote a supportive environment, free from bigotry, where participants achieve success by their own measure. More than a tournament or cultural program, the Gay Games is a gathering of the international sports and arts community that changes lives, attitudes, and the very nature of competition."

Rowing is included in the program of events, and one of the venues in dispute with local residents is Crystal Lake, where the organizers of the games hope to have the regatta. There were links to letters on the front page of
row2k about the rowing events, editorials speaking of both sides of the argument.

I wasn't planning on touching on politics in this blog. I usually save things like that for my personal, non-anonymous blog. I have never really found reason to bring politics into the world of sport; although it's very idealistic, it's also realistic.

In high school, my coach told the team something that I would never forget, something that I try to carry with me every time I tie in and push off: leave it all on the dock. There are enough problems out on the water for you to worry about without thinking about unnecessary things while underway. Grades, deadlines, girlfriend issues, those will all be there once you come back, and you can pick them up once your row is over. But when you're out there, concentrate on making the boat move as fast as you can. That's it. To do anything less is disrespectful to yourself and to your boatmates.

I think any kind of rowing event is a good thing for the rowing community as a whole. A regatta is a regatta, regardless of the sexual orientation of the competitors. The fact that these games are all-inclusive means that the oarsmen and women in them are rowing to compete, not because of some hidden homosexual agenda. So let the Gay Games have it's regatta, Chicago. Don't let your bigotry defeat something with decent intentions in it's heart.