Meditations on Rowing

I love sports for so many reasons, rowing in particular. Because I’ve devoted my recent blog entries to rowing, I’ve turned this entry over to some of my rowing readers. Open weights, lightweights, collegiate, club, and Olympic rowers took the time to share their reasons for loving this sport, one that requires uncommon dedication, thanks [...]

October 27th, 2014|Essays, Sports|


Returning to Boston for the Head of the Charles Regatta always reminds me of going home to visit my family, even though I grew up in NYC, two hundred miles to the south. I lived in Boston for five years and then left to move to the great Northwest, home of rainy winters and long, luxurious summer twilights. That was nearly thirty years ago. I’ve lived more than half my life considerably west of the Mississippi, and likely thrived as a result, but everything I’ve done in those three decades doesn’t seem to make it on the plane with me when I head east for the world’s biggest regatta. It’s no wonder that I associate Boston with my adolescence, even though the ink on my college degree had barely dried when I packed it up with the rest of my gear and headed north on Interstate 95. I moved there because I had to go somewhere and I sure wasn’t moving back home to NYC. By then I knew I was a city girl, but not a big city girl. At least Boston offered the presence of my college boyfriend to keep me company, and a river with boathouses to keep me occupied during my job hunt. Of course, I planned to quit rowing once I landed employment, but the pull proved too strong, and I spent the next five years developing a deep intimacy with the Charles River and participating in the community of national team wannabes. […]

October 24th, 2014|Essays, Sports|

A Love Affair, Forty Years and Counting

What to say about the 2014 Head of the Charles? Other than that this race, in which nearly 11,000 competitors participated this past weekend, holds a deeply special place in my heart? Well, to begin with, consider that on the waters of the Charles I practiced making my own dreams come true, training for the ’84 Olympics. I could tell you… This was the fiftieth anniversary of the first head race established in the United States and the 46th anniversary of women joining its competitive fray; It’s been staged in all kinds of weather – sparkling sunshine, pouring rain, thick flakes of driving snow, muggy and warm, bone chilling cold – under the full gamut of rowing conditions, from dead flat calm to furious white caps. The regatta was canceled once, in 1996, due to a hundred year storm, and rowed on a shortened course in 1969 & 2004. It’s the largest rowing regatta in the world: 61 events over two days. Athletes from all the world’s inhabited continents competed in events that pitted high schoolers against each other and premier university programs against Olympic champions. Rowers of all ages, from young punks to octogenarians, wind their way around the course’s four major curves and through its six bridges. The oldest competitor this year was an 87-year-old single sculler racing in the senior veteran women’s single. Yet none of that begins to capture this event’s personal significance: […]

October 22nd, 2014|Essays, Sports|
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