On Sunday I rowed in a double with my friend Ian at a masters race in Princeton. I've done about five hours of rowing over the past three years, so I expected this to not be much fun (while still being fun, of course).
But my expectations changed dramatically when I learned we'd be in the same race as another friend from my Nereid rowing days who is now rowing for a different club in north Jersey. I had never lost to this other friend in anything rowing-related, and I wasn't about to let the fact that I don't row anymore stand in my way.
I'm happy to report that I continued to keep my unbeaten streak alive.
Witness the bruising we inflicted on my rival (while simultaneously ignoring the fact that I edited out the results for the two crews that beat us):
Mutual friends were asking if my rival knew about our rivalry, to which I replied, "Of course not."
If we had lost, I would have congratulated my opponent for a well-won race, and would have made sure to mention that my partner and I hadn't trained together and in fact, I don't even care about rowing, seeing as how I'm into triathlon now and all. I probably would also have pointed out how much I've been travelling and how that almost definitely had an effect on my performance. I'd also have mentioned that I had to borrow somebody else's oars, because, as we all know, oars are highly personalized -- my oars used to have blue grips; these had yellow.
We won though, so I gave my friend a wave, said, "Good race," and proceeded to row away, content in my smug superiority, however misplaced.