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Someone remarked a few days ago how funny it was that suddenly everybody’s a rower. Four months ago we were a bunch of hopefuls who had (mostly) never been in a boat and had no idea what any of the catch, drive, and recovery were, sweating our way up stairs and around the basin for who knew what. This week we were standing at an organizational meeting for winter training and the summer season, planning out our lives as if they revolved around the sport.

Today I had a similar moment of realisation. You know that sudden surprise you get when you catch your reflection in a mirror and see that somebody glued a large rainbow clown wig on your head without your noticing? It’s the shock of realising that the picture you have in your head and what you actually look like are completely different. Today, I was walking from the weight room at the gym to the locker rooms, and happened to glance in a reflective window along the way. I wasn’t wearing a clown wig, but I was surprised for a moment that I was wearing baggy shorts. Your average Joe would just call them “shorts”, but to me they were surprisingly baggy because at some level I just expected myself to be wearing spandex. That’s what rowers do. Wear spandex around and forget that it’s weird.

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