THE RIGORS OF COMPETITIVE ROWING

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“For the boys still competing for a spot on the freshman crew, the deteriorating weather meant new forms of misery as they labored at their oars aboard Old Nero. Rain pelted their bare heads and shoulders. Their oars slapped against wind-tossed waves, sending up plumes of icy spray that blew back into their faces and stung their eyes. Their hands grew so numb that they could never be sure they had a proper hold on their oars. They could not feel their ears or noses. The icy water of the lake beneath them seemed to suck warmth and energy out of them more quickly than they could produce it. Their aching muscles cramped up the moment they stopped moving them. And they dropped like flies.”

Excerpt From: Daniel James Brown. “The Boys in the Boat.”

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