Crap row? Shut up and be grateful

My good friend Melanie died yesterday. Age 38. Pancreatic cancer. Not unexpected but still impossible to comprehend.

I figured a good session on the water today would lift my mood, or at least focus my mind elsewhere for an hour.

I agreed to go out in a 4X, and set my alarm for 4:50 am.

When I awoke the sky was pink.

On the 20-minute drive to the lake, Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt came on the radio and I was done for. I drove steadily, through the blur. The car knows the route well anyway.

The lake was calm. Just a very light wind.

I declined the offer to stroke the quad and sat in 3. No setting the pace today, no steering, no decisions. Just timing, technique and effort.

It didn’t work. Everything felt wrong for me and remained that way for the entire session. I was out of synch with my crew.

I moved my foot stretcher. No joy.

When bow said my seat was rigged for a much shorter person, in the middle of the lake I swapped seats with 2. Still no joy.

All the time I fought back the voice in my head that was dishing up excuses and telling me to quit now.

I know, excuses are like arseholes—everyone’s got one and they all stink (thanks Hannah).

Back at the slip, we disembarked in silence, a telling signal. Not an endorphin in sight.

I had tried, physically, but my emotional state had hung like a stubborn grey cloud over the boat.

Rowing nearly always makes me feel good. But not today.

OK, enough of the self-pity. As Mark Manson says in Shut up and be grateful:

…when things seem shitty, don’t forget what’s good, true and beautiful. Remember to shut up and be grateful.

So here goes:

  • I am grateful for being alive and healthy.
  • I am grateful for the afternoon I spent with my friend Melanie in September.
  • I am grateful for being invited to row with others.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

4 thoughts on “Crap row? Shut up and be grateful

  1. Hey Mary it has taken me a while to read this story and to understand your pain on that day. The seat swap was an experience in itself believe me even if it didn’t help you at the time. We all need to remember to be there and support each other and even though it was a little while ago – take care and keep smiling


  2. Thanks for this post , it’s a good reminder to not sweat the small stuff … and to remember its all small stuff and to treasure our friends and family

    Good for you for persisting this am even swapping seats on the water , shows courage and determination

    thoughts are with you

    see you soon



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s