Sharing the love: Dear Novice Rower

DNR_Logo_RGBShe did it again.

Another thoughtful, useful, well written, humorous, self-deprecating post written just for rowers landed in my inbox this morning.

I’m talking of course about Lauren Crandall and her new-ish blog, Dear Novice Rower.

Lauren is consistently pumping out great content about rowing. Every few days I get a link in my box to her latest post. I always follow the link. There’s not much content in the world written just for rowers, so I gobble up her posts, even though they’re written for a novice audience. Her goal is to encourage newcomers to try the sport and take the sting out of the trial-by-water nature of rowing.

On her site she is in the process of compiling everything you ever needed to know about rowing to get started. And even if you’ve been rowing for years, it’s fun to read her thoughts on any number of the million facets of rowing, such as the Top 13 Rowing Terms to orient you to the daunting lingo of rowing, an Ode to Coxswains explaining the key role played by our nonrowing friends in the boat, and a new series called How Rowing Found Me that I plan to write something for soon.

There are people at my club who volunteer year after year to teach new people to row. I have not made as much time as I would have liked to help other people to get started in rowing. I can only hope that some of the times I’ve written about rowing have encouraged nonrowers to give it a try.

So far my neighbor has gotten the rowing bug, along with two coworkers, and two of my daughters have tried it a few times. But it’s possible there are more, people I’ll never know about.

I will never forget what happened on the day of my college graduation. The ceremony itself was a blur, but later that day there was a celebration at the river for the rowers who were graduating. I remember sitting on the tall grass on the banks of the Susquehanna River with a nonrowing friend, drinking beer and looking at the calm water, when a young woman with short blonde hair came up to me where I was sitting.

‘Jill!’ she said. I looked up to see a sophomore I barely knew from the crew team standing over me.

‘Hi!’ I said. My mind tried but failed to place her name.

‘I just wanted to thank you,’ she said.

‘For what?’ I asked, surprised, scrambling to my feet.

‘For introducing me to rowing.’

I must have given her a funny look because I had no recollection of doing so.

‘I don’t know if you remember this,’ she went on, ‘but there was a Saturday a couple of years ago when you and a few other rowers were out on the quad on ergs, recruiting people for the crew team. You encouraged me to try the erg, and I did. You showed me how to do it.’

‘I would never have joined or even known about the sport, except for that experience,’ she went on. ‘I ended up joining the team.

She smiled. ‘It’s probably the best thing I’ve done in college.’

Well, I can tell you: That was by far the best graduation gift I received.

I love the thought that there might be more people like her. People who have taken to the water and found something rewarding in the rowing life – encouraged somehow by the way I light up when I talk about rowing.

Lauren’s doing the same thing with her blog.

liebster2I hereby use the powers invested in me as a blogger and past recipient to bestow the coveted “Liebster Award” on Dear Novice Rower – an award that is given to new blogs and must someday be passed along to another in return: to introduce people to worthy new sites.

I’ve waited three years to pass the torch. It’s about time I shared the love.

Friends: I hope you’ll check out her site.

Lauren: Tag, you’re it. And keep writing.

See you on the water.

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