Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Rowing in the Dark
For the past several weeks, our rowing workouts have been in the dark when we begin at 5:30 a.m. Today, with sunrise at 7:11 a.m., we started and ended in the dark (although it was a lighter predawn when we finished at 6:50).
There is an element of danger in rowing in the dark, mainly that of crashing. There are many obstacles to be avoided: rocks, buoys, docks and (especially) other boats. Although we have bow and stern lights on our boats, there are are multitude of lights that make it difficult to distinguish between an oncoming boat and a light on the shore.
Rowing in the dark requires trust. First, you need to trust the coach near you in a launch to tell you when you're steering off course. Secondly, you need to trust the person steering in the bow (in the case of a double or quad) or the coxswain (in the case of a four or eight) to not crash.
Rowing is a sport that teaches trust and reliance on others. Even when rowing in daylight, you must have faith in your crewmates (that they are rowing hard and well) for a boat to go fast.
The trust needed in rowing is a good analogy for life. To enjoy a full and fulfilled life, we must develop trust in those persons we are close to and rely upon. Sometimes, we need to be able to trust strangers (as in the case of flying on an airplane). For much of life is lived in the "dark" where we can't see the way ahead clearly.