From the Cox Seat

The cox seat is not the most coveted spot in our boat. Basically, everyone awkwardly averts their eyes in the hopes the hope that they will not have to cox that morning. People blame the seat (it’s incredibly tiny) and their bad backs and “I’ve never done it before!” I’ve traveled quite a bit in our boat and sat in every seat (currently I occupy 7 seat) and I actually really, really enjoy being cox.

There’s nothing like singing “Golden Dream” from the American Pavilion as the sun is rising over the Lincoln memorial, you guys.

I have that thirst for power that in another life would make me a dictator combined with a big mouth despite the early hour. Sometimes, I’m amazed by how “on” I can be at 5:45 am. This Jersey girl also often can be somewhat belligerent on the water so my rowers are constantly concerned that we’re going to end up in an altercation with another team over something I said really loudly into the microphone. “HEY ROCK CREEK, YOU GUYS WANNA STAND THERE AND STARE AT YOUR BOAT FOR 20 MINUTES OR YOU WANNA MOVE YOUR ASSES SO I CAN DOCK?” To their concerns I say, “If it comes down to a rumble, I expect you all to back me up. I’m your Nardo, you’re my Sharks, and the Potomac is our West Side.”

But more than my big mouth, I really enjoy helping my team really reach their full potential. I like gently encouraging and cajoling them into doing better in my own sarcastic, humorous way. I call bow 4 my “special” section and I really enjoyed calling drills, adding pauses, and changing up the repertoire and seeing results. They started out doing terribly and by the end of practice today, they were rowing together beautifully.  A lot of my teammates take a very hands off approach when coxing, but not me.

Also, if you ever wanted to try out rowing but don’t want to pay for it, I suggest asking around at local clubs and seeing if they need coxes. Oftentimes, you can join for free and they’ll be willing to train you because if there’s anything rowers hate, it’s being forced to coxed.


10 thoughts on “From the Cox Seat

    • These moments cannot be avoided in rowing.
      Exhibit 1
      Coaches: “You’re burying the shaft too deep! Your shaft’s too deep!”
      Rower: “That’s what SHE said!”

      Coach: “The bow ball is missing, does anyone have extra balls?”

      Me when I cox: “Remember guys, it’s like that song says, ‘hold on loosely, but don’t let go, if you move too quickly you’re gonna lose control.’ That’s advice that applies to a lot of things.”

  1. I don’t always row…but when I do, Nicole is my cox!

    Besides that just sounding wrong, it’s also kinda a lie since I only row on a machine and you’re not there, but I completely picture you yelling at me while I’m doing it! …and I’m back to sounding creepy and wrong.

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