Bleary eyed and thinking of nothing else but the warm bed I left behind, I hear the cox call out,” hands on, up to shoulder, walk it forward,” the boat feels like a ton of bricks, to the dock, roll into the water. One foot in, two, down, push off, we start to row, bodies swing in unison, the oars drop in and rise out of the water as one, the boat glides through the water effortlessly, I hear the water run beneath it and watch the puddles created by the oars slicing through the water, it all comes together. We get to the end of the reservoir, coxswain calls out “wain up, oars down”. We stop, the fog is cresting over the Santa Cruz Mountains, a bald eagle flies over head, the sun begins its ascent and the water sparkles from the first rays to greet it…, fatigue forgotten, that’s why I row.
Jordan also rowed, we commiserated and grumbled about erging and getting up for those early morning workouts. Jordan rowed for his crew. When he comes home from college, he hangs with his crew friends. These are the guys he will be reminiscing with when he is my age, talking about back in the day. The friendships he forged, the bond created from competing, winning, losing and supporting each other, that’s why he rowed.