Row, row, row your boat, gently down life's most important lessons

Row, row, row your boat, gently down life's most important lessons

Joining a sports team is one of the best decisions I have made during my university life. I joined the Rowing Club last year, and I have fallen in love with this super-tough sport.

At the beginning of this month, I joined a regatta in Si Hui, as a member of an eight-women crew. We rowed in a real river flowing with muddy water, unlike the artificial Shing Mun River back home in Sha Tin.

It rained continuously for three days, and the icy winds froze our toes and fingers as we struggled to rig the racing shell and pull our oars through the water. But the bad weather couldn't scare us away - unless the river froze, we'll keep on rowing.

It was eye-opening to see how rowers from universities in China train and race. Many of them were at least a head taller than us, and their discipline and determination almost overwhelmed us in the heats.

As the least experienced member of my crew, I was extremely lucky to have kind and patient seniors who taught me one step at a time, and put up with my poor technique and lack of power. Together we looked at video footage and discussed possible improvements. Most importantly, my crewmates are my role models - they have extraordinary stamina, and give their best in every race.

In many ways, rowing gives me a glimpse of how to handle life itself: by achieving harmony, balance and rhythm. It is more than just a sport. Rather, we are training to strengthen our souls, and become better people.

I will never forget the feeling of racing along endless stretches of mountains and rivers on the big day. And it wasn't until one of my crewmates started screaming and another was crying tears of joy that I realised we had won. In the end, all the early morning training sessions and exhausting workouts were worth it. There is definitely something inspiring about rowing.

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Mai Anh

15:24pm