Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peaceful beginnings

Thanks to the amazing photography of my old coach, Joel Furtek, I have been reminiscing on a part of my life that is long since past but that I still treasure dearly.  It just isn't possible to put into words all that my days rowing for UNC did to shape who I have become, but suffice it to say that it has probably been the most pivotal experience of my life.  Even compared to becoming a doctor, a wife, and a mother, rowing very literally unzipped the infant version of the person I am still becoming.  It led me to my lifelong friends, my husband, and my career, but I think most importantly, it taught me that no matter how isolatingly painful the work at hand may be, I am never going it alone and there are always people with me that depend on my ability to hold it together and find the humor and joy in the world that is rushing by not 6 inches from the gunnel.  There is just nothing more peaceful or re-energizing than skimming across a flat body of water, cutting through a cool misty fog with the pink glow of morning just beginning its dance across the horizon, and listening to the heartbeat of eight separate oars move the shell like one single organism. And to walk away one day, with the 'thunk' of the oarlocks and the splash of the catch still echoing in your mind, even years and years down the road.