Rowing is one of my favorite activities. Gliding across the water, I love the persistence of rowing.
Rowing through this pond, in Rome, I remember feeling as if I was in a pot of turtle soup. You couldn't help but hit them with the oars and seemed like three or four were riding along with each stroke. I never imagined a pond could be so densely populated. The day was so hot I might have feigned falling in if I wasn't sure I'd have met my untimely death by turtle nipping.
Rowing at 5 am across a foggy river in graduate school... rowing away exams and research (and a fiance') until there was just sweat and sore muscles left and I could see the mist fade and the light change as the sun came up. Physically blasting through each stoke finding power and strength in our unified saunter, but mentally drifting with clarity and calm across the water.
I'm rowing now. Through life, love, parenting, marriage, living abroad... Power and peace swirling simultaneously. Pushing forward and stepping back. Finding (seeking) that pleasure in both the two steps forward and the one step back (or 10). Enjoying the burn as much as the breeze.