Articles

>Never Understood Rowing

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2008 by mstevensrev

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Here in Seattle was the first time I was really introduced to rowing culture.  Honestly I didn’t get it.  Back East it was something that Ivy Schools did, which is funny coming from someone who played lacrosse.  While we lived in Oakland a rowing club would have breakfast right next to our Men’s Bible Study on Saturday mornings, and I would often catch myself not paying attention to what we were supposed to be studying and listening to the rowing clubs conversations, and I still didn’t get it.  Rowing to me seemed too early to wake up, cold, wet, expensive, lonely (even on a team your just looking at the back of someone’s head), and just outright odd.

So why am I writing all this?  Because I read a quote that helped me understand and I wanted to share it with you,

"Rowers have a word for this frictionless sate: swing…Recall the pure joy of riding on a backyard swing: an easy cycle of motion, the momentum coming from the swing itself.  The swing carries us; we do not force it.  We pump our legs to drive our arc higher, but gravity does most of the work.  We are not so much swinging as being swung.  The boat swings you.  The shell wants to move fast: Speed sings in its lines and nature.  Our job is simply to work with the shell, to stop holding it back with our thrashing struggles to go faster.  thriving too hard sabotages boat speed.  Trying becomes striving and striving undoes itself.  Social climbers strive to be aristocrats but their efforts prove them no such thing.  Aristocrats do not strive; they have already arrived.  Swing is a state of arrival."

David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

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