Last weekend I met and old friend by the river.
He had come to Philadelphia from Connecticut due to a rowing regatta that was being held on on of the rivers. ¬†I walked the length of the 2.5 mile course to meet him. ¬†After walking through the crowds of rowers and their boats on shore¬†and alongside the river where they propelled their craft with intensely poetic grace, I found my friend. ¬†We talked and caught up for a bit, but he had to do some things with his team and so I left him for a bit before meeting up again. ¬†In that time between, I did something that I had not done in a long time. ¬†I was hanging out by the river watching the crews row by. ¬†I was in an environment that I have not spent much time in since retiring from serious competition. ¬†I have been down at the river before and even been in a few boats, but this was first time in a long while that I spent a good amount of time just sitting and soaking the regatta environment in.
It was here that I remembered. ¬†As I watched the crews race by I remembered all the times that I had been in that position. ¬†I saw the teams with their boats on shore. ¬†I saw crews warming up getting ready to race. ¬†I remembered all of it. ¬†I remembered when that was me. ¬†I have spent many years since retiring feeling lost in the world. ¬†I no longer had such a defined purpose as I did when I was rowing. ¬†The sport was the one place where I knew what I was doing. ¬†It is the closest to mastering anything that I have yet to attain. On the river I knew what I was doing. ¬†I knew who I was in a way I have never known previously or since.