The Ninth Seat

On land she is not the most outgoing person. Not even close. People seem to look through her, their eyes passing over without a second glance. As if she does not exist. On the water its hard not to hear her, although seeing her is still difficult. In the back of a line of eight, tall and toned boys, she sits. The screaming speck of a person directing eight oars. When her line up of boys is called, she guides the rowers, who are carrying a 200lb boat, around an obstacle course of trees until they must swing the stern to get onto the dock. The rowers must push the boat above their heads until they reach the launching point, where they curl the boat into the water and watching the riggers.

Finally she guides them through a 10K course. Where she maneuvers a giant boat through tight turns. She yells at the boys who are almost double her age and twice her size. And they listen. She is the fate of the boat. Through blood, sweat, tears, curses and screams, the boat manages to survive. The rowers catch crabs, rush, lean to port, and the boat is unset. It is her job to direct the boat, and to deal with these issues that occur along the journey. She must scream and listen to her voice crack in order to be heard. The boys complain, but she urges them on.

Its her job to be tiny, so the boys don’t have to pull too much dead weight. She is often splashed by oars, and it appears that she might have fallen into the water because she is so wet. The boat continues on, passing other boats, staying away from rocks, and making slight turns. Having an equal ratio of 2:1 recovery and pull. Eventually the boat is set, and it glides through the water. Propelling to the finish line. At the end the boys’ shoulders sore, hands blistered and bleeding, shirts drenched with sweat and water.

She had gotten them to the finish line to retrieve the win. In turn, she is thrown into the water, to celebrate the victory. Three letters describe her need to be light, to be a speck of a human being, her need to be loud, and her goal. C-O-X.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Courtney P. said...
Nov. 23, 2009 at 9:25 pm
Wow. That was really good. But... This may sound dumb, but what is a cox?
 
coxswaim1204 replied...
Nov. 24, 2009 at 2:43 pm
A cox is a pet named or shortened name that refers to a coxswain in a boat. A coxswain is in charge of navigating, steering, and basically everything in the boat. A coxswain is one of the most unique jobs in the sport world. I am part of a crew, and I am the coxswain
 
coxswain1204 replied...
Nov. 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm
I meant coxswain1204 sorry!
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm
This is very descriptive! Good job.
 
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