The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I am proud to say that I was a varsity athlete with Drexel for 3 years and I learned to love a sport.The summer after my freshman year I was moving home to Maryland, so I needed to find a rowing club near my work at Georgetown. I stumbled upon DC strokes, Washington’s GLBT rowing Club.

Rowing, it takes a special kind of crazy. It is a world of meeting up at 5:30 to go for a two mile run, do some squat jumps followed by lifting 25 to 30 pounds (depending on if everyone is lifting their own weight) over your head. And that's just the warmup.

I started this sport almost on a whim. During freshman orientation a tall imposing blond man was asking tall girls to sign up for something. This man, the varsity coach as I found out later, was getting people to join as walk on's and that fall I decided to give it a try.

To gather the full perspective of how damn ridiculous a situation I was getting myself in, let me give you a bit of background. My life, throughout elementary, middle and high school, was absolutely devoid of sports, exercise and athletics. I was a lazy kid, preferring to watch TV with my cats over practically anything. The only redeeming factors were my flexibility and my stubbornness to keep on going and learning.

Rowing is a true team sport. To achieve optimal speed, each rower must be in the exact rhythm, blades in, back and out as one. Along with this cohesiveness, proper form must be used. Straight back, chest up, slide up at the stern, shin perpendicular to the water. Then DRIVE back. Legs first, keeping your body at the same angle, PULL back, keeping your chest up, arms still out. SNAP your arms into your chest, softly pushing down on the handle of the oar and rotating it out of the water. Slowly repeat the steps backward as you come up the slide, and quick drop your blade in at the catch.

DCSTROKES

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Summer of 2011
Anacostia river

I am proud to say that I was a varsity athlete with Drexel for 3 years and I learned to love a sport.The summer after my freshman year I was moving home to Maryland, so I needed to find a rowing club near my work at Georgetown. I stumbled upon DC strokes, Washington’s GLBT rowing Club.

Tags: Rowing
Decade: 2010s
Rating:
Recorded by Emily Barth on June 8, 2014
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