May 1, 2002

Walking Into the Sunset

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We approach the final races of the season with much anticipation. After dropping a close race to Princeton last weekend, we are anxious to demonstrate even more speed next time.

The general feeling from most of the rowers was that we could have gone faster with just a little more effort in the technical motion department. We hadn’t been pushed all season until our race with the Tigers. This was just the race we needed to escape from the doldrums of mediocrity. This narrow loss only sparked a flame that needed ignition.

Now that we have an idea of our speed, the rowers can better gauge our opponents and efficiently disseminate physical efforts into the water. A loss can be even more valuable than a victory because there is a sense of urgency that follows and a need to address weaknesses that may be overlooked in victory.

We are happy to still have the chance to race Princeton two more times this season: at our league championship, Eastern Sprints, and at nationals, IRA. I think this race instilled confidence in us that we can beat anyone.

“Walking on water” is not some sort of religious plug. It is just an expression that I may use during a race if our boat is moving up and through an opponent. I may say, “We’re walking!” You got it? You’re smart people. Right.

So as customary, it is time for the shout-outs of gratitude. Let me start off by saying that when I think of myself and of who I have become, I think of my parents, Teaho and Heara. You both should be given a big hand and big ups for putting up with my craziness. Furthermore, you guys are all about the unconditional and have supported me in all that I have endeavored, for others have let me down, but you all have always been there for me. I love you both.

Next, I think of myself as a member of a team. Thanks to all of the coaches that I have had over the years for putting up with the bonehead moves associated with growing pains and my humbled enlightened despotism. Thanks to all of the guys who have taken me to places I never thought I’d visit. I have taken a ride on your powerful coattails in Portland, Princeton, Annapolis, Syracuse, Philadelphia, Derby, Piscataway, Worcester, Rochester and Ithaca. Man, have we had some close races over the years. Not only have you all been rowers, but also you all have been great pals. Who knew that a small little guy like me could be buds with so many people in high places? Doug MacLean is the greatest.

I also think of myself as a product of cultural diffusion. Thanks, Southern California and your surfer attitude. Thanks, New England, for your preppy style. Thanks to the states south of the Mason-Dixon for your gun-slinging cowboy ways. Thanks, Lt. Pete Mitchell. Thanks to the big guy up in the great blue sky.

My time here has taught me about biology, chemistry, biochemistry, politics, ethics, economics, religion, cooking and music. But the only thing worth taking away from this awesome place is the fact that I have learned how to learn. Thanks, Ezra.

I genuinely wish you all the best of luck with your future adventures just so I can say later, “Hey, I went to school with that person. Who knew they were going to become famous?” Like the late Dick Schaap ’55, I want to be a name dropper. Adios.

Archived article by Donald Lee