The thing that's so beautiful about rowing is that it truly doesn't matter. Sure, you could be one of those people who trains every day and drinks raw eggs for protein, but that's not for crew. That's for the love of winning, those so driven towards victory that they don't really care what they're doing as long as they win. I am not one of those people. I love this sport. It is my anesthetic from the world and everything in it. There is something about the companionship that really hits home, when you spend so much time with these people doing something you love, you come to love them just as much. There is nothing more incredibly miraculous than simply getting in a boat and rowing your heart out, because your heart is all you have, and even that doesn't feel equal to the heart of the river. Oh the river. The force that holds it all together. An endless expanse of peace, of water, but it's so much more than that. It emanates a timeless wisdom and serenity that cannot be matched. No matter what, there is always a river. If everything is falling apart, your world is coming down around you, there is always a river to take you in and soothe you. Because, my friends, there is nothing...nothing in the world more beautiful than rowing, surrounded by cool, clean river and your friends, giving absolutely everything you have just for the sake of it. For those of you who have never heard the rhythmic thunder of the oars, or felt the water slide away beneath you, or seen a blood red sun set as you paddled it in, I pity you. Because you have not known true love. To live and die for the water, sweat and blood, dirt and tears. Passion. Freedom. This is my soul, what I'll be doing for the rest of my life. Without this I am nothing. Absolutely nothing. This is love. When you can block out the boats beside you, block out the cacophony of the grandstands, you have loved. When it's only you and your boat and the water. When it's just that rhythmic thunder, haggard breathing, and your crew. Your crew, your best friends in the world, standing on the shore, screaming, sharing your fire. Screaming, pouring themselves out to you and to the water. Love. And even though you don't win, hell, you don't even place, you are truly happy. Because this is what you live for. And that...is beautiful.