I'd say professional sport spits out much more freaks than it seems from afar. If you see one winning it's a show for a minute at most (if you happen to watch sports) while those folks who didn't win will have a hard time resisting the pull to sacrifice more years to silence this defeat. Same thing next year, easy to get stuck in a loop if you "believe in yourself" as they say.

Daily life of a rower was something in between monastery and army (I know nothing about these two but their combined imaginary picture looks exactly like sports routine from my experience). Undertone was growing despair, as I watched the range of my life opportunities narrow. By choosing this path I sacrifice more important paths I dreamed to take in my life.

Formerly a smart kid, a bookworm, exempt from university entry exams due to olympiads performance, now spending year after year in this small circle of hate. Stuck in a zero sum game, dulled from going flat out every day, I accelerated my degradation spending late hours scrolling and stalking on instagram trying to delay the next day. The longer I wait, the more of my life is buried here.

I'm a european champion. For me it only means that I managed not to become a miserable freak that season after season pictures himself finally reaching some imaginary bait that'd pay off all these years. The day it happened, I felt relief. To some extent the accumulated misery of the years spent boat racing went away.

It's a holiday that is always with me: I still wake up every day and feel happy when I realize that I don't have to row. It has nothing to do about rowing itself, it is about that legalized tyranny into which all these megalomanic old school eastern european coaches turned it all into.

Ca ne vous servira à rien ici vos études, mon garçon ! Vous n'êtes pas venu ici pour penser, mais pour faire les gestes qu'on vous commandera d'exécuter… Nous n'avons pas besoin d'imaginatifs dans notre usine. C'est de chimpanzés dont nous avons besoin… Un conseil encore. Ne me parlez plus jamais de votre intelligence !

-- Voyage au bout de la nuit


This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.