Rowing Against the Current (ex-display) - learning to row at 40
a paper back book which was on display in a bookshop so is slightly battered
In the midst of the standard dreary midlife crisis -- complete with wine tasting courses, yoga classes, and a failed attempt at a first novel -- a 40-year-old Barry Strauss falls unexpectedly and passionately in love with rowing, a sport in which a 27-year-old is a has been. Strauss, a classics professor, writes about the unanticipated delights of an affair that, like so many others, begins as a casual dalliance and develops into a full-blown obsession. Drawn to the sport in part because of his affinity for Greek antiquity, he develops a love for old boathouses, a longing for rivers at dawn, a thirst to test himself, and, ultimately, a renewed sense of self-reliance -- as someone who had experienced sports humiliation as far back as Little League suddenly find himself bursting into athleticism at an unlikely age. From the awe-inspiring feats of the war-bound Greek triremes with their crews of 172 men rowing on three levels to the solitary pride of finishing a first race in which he gets stuck in the weeds and has to be fished out, Barry Strauss shows us why "there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half as much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."