So last night, I went to the second practice of the grad school crew (which it turns out is open to staff, faculty, partners, etc., not just grad students). I got to the tanks and was immediately intimidated. Loud music, what felt like hundreds of gigantically tall men, all in great shape, all high-fiving each other and fist bumping right and left, and all looking like they'd been rowing forever. (Bear in mind that I'm 5'9", so feeling short isn't usually an issue.)
I stood nervously on the edge, thinking that kids these days listen to their music too loud, dreading how many times I was going to crab once we got in the tanks (the tanks are out to get me), and reminding myself that--while I would probably be too embarrassed to run out of the room in the middle of practice--at least I never had to come back.
Just as I was thinking I could probably leave immediately without attracting much notice, the coach called us all together and announced that everyone new to rowing should go into the other room.
And, the room just about emptied. Most of the imposing, gigantically tall men? Had never rowed before.
I'm not planning to join the grad school crew, by the way, but I'm not in the women's four that's going to the Head of the Charles. As a result, I suspect my fall rowing is going to be a little haphazard, and involve more sculling than sweeping. Sadly for me, I'm still not good enough at sculling for it to be a physical workout--my brain is working too hard trying to communicate with my left hand for me to really get going. (I'm a port, so in a sweep boat my left hand just provides muscle--in a scull, it's in charge of an oar all by itself. If only it knew how much better things would go if it would listen to my brain!)