If you're a rower or you live with one, you probably already know this: We're a nerdy bunch.
We speak of feathering and squaring blades, drive timing, and body angle as incessantly as the most rabid March Madness fan talks brackets and scores.
And when we come across a coach who can somehow draw the analogy, coax out the technique, and improve our boat speed, well, that person gets his or her own pedestal complete with a customized laurel wreath.
Meet Gordon Hamilton. He's that kind of coach.
I've been coached by Gordon on rough water and flat water, singles, doubles, quads – and every time Gordon has hit upon the right words or drill to make it right (or at least better).
Gordon has distilled his many years of coaching at M.I.T., Cambridge University, Cambridge Boat Club, Riverside Boat Club, Craftsbury Sculling Center, and the Open Water Rowing Center into one very well-written book called "Sculling in a Nutshell."
Don't read it if you want the standard fare on rowing technique. Gordon takes a different approach. He'll have you thinking "stability" rather than "balance" and he'll tell you to toss out some commonly used rowing terms in favor of new ones.
He's sensitive to the power of language and his insights offer a fresh perspective on how one's stroke, rowing shell, and speed can come together smoothly and efficiently (even on rough water).
His book, which can be read in an evening or two, is a great resource for competitors, beginner/intermediates, and anyone who loves the sport. Take a look and give it a go.
And if you're lucky enough to be wherever Gordon is, take a lesson.
By the way, if you've made it this far in the post, you're definitely a rower. You should probably buy the book.
Everyone else, I'll be back in a few days with more pretty pictures of the bay.