Open water strikes a certain chord in all of us-- Maybe it's the solitude, maybe it's a remnant of the old days when seafaring maps read 'Here be Monsters' on the boundaries of the unknown.

On Wednesday, I was roped into joining the NYU men's varsity crew team as the coxswain, after the former coxswain, who had F=ma tattoed on his shoulder, quit. I must be a masochist. We practice at 4:55 in the morning. So here I am, 5 foot 6, female, and 115 pounds, haven't coxed in 2 years, in charge of the men's 8 sweep.

The first race was on Saturday. We drove down to Virginia for the Head of the Occoquan. The course was 3.2 miles, with about 5 90+ degree turns-- a coxswain's nightmare. Around the third turn, another crew from George Mason University attempted to pass us, and fearless leader of the "Commodore Banks" that I am, I refused to yield. Surely enough, they hit us, and in passing proceeded to beat me severely with their oars (on purpose). My crew hit them back, and we succeeded in knocking their number off the stern of the ship. I grabbed an oar and attempted to poke the stroke seat. By then, we were taking on a significant amount of water (Coxswain: "How's our bow?" 1-seat: "Fucked UP!"). I drove them to the finish with power 60's back to back, and we finished 3 seconds in last place. Afterwards, my crew and I proceeded to kick the asses of George Mason crew.


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