The Boat Race

Yesterday, on Sunday I went to see my son’s university boat race(crew).


It started at Oxford and Cambridge in England around the 1800s and by mid 1800’s the race began to take place at Harvard University and Yale University in America. It is popular as a team sport with a lot of history.


The previous evening I made pumpkin pie, the kind my son loves. In the morning, I woke up early and spent 2 hours on the way to a match at Princeton University, New Jersey.  During the maple season, the boats seem like they are sliding through the river without producing any waves. It provides a very healing sensation. The only thing I am hearing is the sound of the coxswain who is commanding the people steering the boat. The movement of 8 people in the boat is like one person, seemingly breathing together. When this happens you feel their enthusiasm.. Our son’s team race starts. They travel 5 km in about ten minutes. There are 28 universities participating in the tournament. 28 boats are moving forward steadily. Spectators of the boat race are watching in vain. At any good place, you have only 3 minutes to watch. The total duration is 2 hours, so I squint my eyes and look for my son. It’s hard because everyone looks similar!! But when I think my son is out there somewhere, it is exciting. It was more than just bliss, it was truly exciting. And I run to the finish line. You need team work to lift the boat. It is always impressive when everyone lifts it up and they put it on their shoulder. The boat was bigger than I expected. As a doting parent. I never get tired of watching.


They start practicing in the river from 6:30am in the freezing morning, 5 or 6 days a week. In the afternoon, they train their muscles. When I hear talk about the hardness of the practice, I wonder why they do such hard work. But that practice makes the boat slide through the river smoothly and run beautifully and completely without any wasted effort.

How was the result? I asked my son. “Today we were not last!”

They have continued practicing from 6:30am again, this morning.


Link to original blog in Japanese:

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