Long skinny boats, a sunny and cool spring morning, and enthusiastic college athletes…and so began my spring break.
I’ve never been to a crew event before, even though the Crew Classic happens in my hometown every year. I’ve watched rowing on TV and seen it during the Olympics. But recently, my nephew, a college sophomore became the coxswain of his college crew team…and their team was participating in our local event. So I had to go…and who wouldn’t enjoy a morning on the beach in beautiful San Diego?
The long skinny boats lined the beach, propped up upside down until each team carefully lifted the shell up over their heads and carried them down to the water.
There are interesting traditions within the sport. Coxswain are smaller and lighter than the rowers–and charged with keeping the rowers on cadence. They wear high-tech equipment, magnifying their voices above the wind and water for the rowers to hear. Apparently coxswain don’t wade out to the boat (or carry it either), and are lifted into the boat by a rower on the team. I caught this picture of the coxswain being lifted to his perch at the front of the boat…or is it the back?
I find myself thinking about all these young people on the threshold of adulthood. I know they are technically adults, after all, all of them are 18 or older. But I also know they are still in the process of figuring out how they will live their lives as grown-ups, separate from their parents. And it seems that the camaraderie and teamwork from sports and other team-oriented activities in college support these young adults as they find their way to independence. And it was fun to see the families cheering their young people on…and delighting in their efforts, even if the result of the race was 4th out of 4 or the boat came trailing in much later than the others in the race. It isn’t about winning or losing…it’s about playing, being together, learning together, figuring how to be a team.
My spring break is bookended with two threshold events: cheering on my younger nephew as part of his rowing team and then celebrating the wedding of my other nephew at the end of my break. They are both embarking on new chapters of their lives, figuring out their places in the world.
And there is something about standing at the edge of water on a gorgeous spring morning, the threshold of my spring break, that suggests possibility, play, and learning for me too. Sometimes just taking the time to try something new or explore a new aspect of my hometown is enough to break up the routines of the ordinary. I can’t wait to see what these days ahead will hold for me.
What thresholds are on your horizon? What inspires new beginnings in your life? How do you breathe possibility into your everyday life?