Stefan Kieszling

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Stefan Kieszling

I climbed on the rowing ergometer, and started to pull - losing myself in the rhythm of sweat and pain.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
We shook hands. For a moment our eyes met - which I found surprisingly destabilizing. Then we pulled back and there was a mement of what seemed like mutual appraisal. For me, it was like being at a regatta, sizing up the competition on the dock before climbing into the shells. Could I take him? ... He could inflict serious damage. I sensed that. But he would be unfamiliar with rowers - men used to toiling backwards, blindly, trained, most of all, to endure.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Once one has attained a high level of success at any pursuit and especially an unorthodox pursuit like rowing, one develops a number of generally self-congratulatory half-truths to explain how it happened that he ascended to that particular pinnacle. Often because original motivations don't seem to have much in common with the eventual success, the real and rationalized motivations are difficult to separate.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Those of us who stayed were younger, more tractable. Less sure of ourselves socially and intellectually, we gave ourselves to the sport with little idea of what we could give or receive.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The ergometer simulates the physical demands of rowing, packaging the pains with none of the amenities that make it worthwhile ...More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Although it takes a long warm-up for an eight to swing, on an erg such subtleties don't matter. For me the sound alone raised my pulse to 120. Tying my feet into the stretchers increased it to 180. My maximum pulse was 200. I didn't need a warmup. I needed a sedative.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
[Trading] With the French one had to be especially careful. French oarswomen were known to take men aside, point to whatever they wanted, and then peel off their own shirts. It took great presence of mind to bargain with a half-naked Frenchwoman.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Hundreds of feet above us, cars whisked by, oblivious to our drama. Up there were the shortcuts, the excuses, the world of infinite possibilities separating man and his potential. We had four miles and the best competition in the nation. We linked hands in the boat and committed ourselves to each other.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Being in shape was not my goal. My body was a tool to test the capabilities of my will.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Once one is beyond a certain level of commitment to the sport, life begins to seem an allegory of rowing rather than rowing an allegory of life.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
For two months after Christmas vacation we limped around campus with muscles too tigh and sore to walk properly, yet we had no good idea of our goal. Without knowing what a real race was like, I couldn't judge whether it was worth all the preparation, but having put in so much time already, how could we back out? Quite a few Freshman did manage to back out. After Christmas several, when freed from faily practice, decided that they liked not feeling tired all the time. Most of them vanished without a word.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
As a competitor, winner or loser, one crosses the line into limbo. The adrenaline is gone, the anticipation is gone. The verdict is either comforting or devestating but it neithers returns the exhilaration of the race nor helps directly to win the next. Maybe all that matters is that there is a next.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
That morning each of us found a breaking point. Not only a physical barrier, but a point where determination, stamina and duty clashed and were overcome not so much by pain but by absurdity.More Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Karen rowed for what the venerable American shell builder George Pocock called `the symphony of motion.' As dawn breaks over the river, the shell is lifted from its rack out into the morning. On another rack the oars hang ready to be greased and slipped into the locks. Then, awakened to the river and the feel of the oars, the oarsmen blend in fulfillment of the shell. The symphony is not of competition. It is the synchronous motion over water, the harmonic flexing of wood and muscle, where each piece of equipment and eMore Stefan Kieszling [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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Quotes of the month

Author Unknown "Only to the one who consciously sacrifices his mind God reveals the secrets of the universe." [12/01/2019 01:12:06] More


Author Unknown "The heart-sick
Envy burns with fire!" (Evgueni Berkovitch, 2013) [12/10/2019 06:12:16] More


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Anatoly Yurkin The idea of ownership is a crisis technology that requires thinking. (Anatoly Yurkin) [12/08/2019 12:12:15] More


Anatoly Yurkin Alienation is the undergoing of repetition. (Anatoly Yurkin) [11/14/2019 12:11:46] More