It’s difficult to resist sculling on the Charles River if you live only minutes from the Cambridge Boat Club. So effortless. So tranquil. So centered. And oh, to become one with the reliably adorable ducks, the loose-bowelled geese, the edgy cormorants, the uxorious swans, the basking turtles, and, of course, your own unstable boat. I succumbed in the mid-’90s.
Most of my contemporaries who are still racing have been going at it with undiminished — how to say it — single-mindedness since their teens. They’ve collected more than their weight in medals, plaques, trophies, and decaying t-shirts. I, on the other hand, have garnered a single second-place medal, which I am obliged to admit was earned in a two-person boat in a three-boat race. I’m holding my order for the velvet-lined trophy case.