UGLY HANDS: the secret handshake

My mom bought me 2 pairs of gloves when I started rowing. Because I play the violin, she thought she’d help me save my hands (and a few angry lectures from my violin teacher).

They are still in my drawer.

She parades them out periodically, but the truth is, ugly hands are a badge of honor for rowers, aren’t they? They are like slide bites on your calves or rowers bum. All these badges are part of the secret vernacular of rowing and a part of the identifiers for rowers. You know a fellow rower by the “secret handshake” – if the hand you’re shaking feels like old bumpy ostrich skin, you know it belongs to a fellow rower. And we LOVE to talk about them. It’s like the scene in Jaws where Hooper and Captain Quint are comparing scars. (“… and this blister is from preseason, and this one calloused over after Head of the…”).

So, our hands are not pretty, our calves are scarred and our shoulders are always a bit wider than normal… but we are always smiling. Except of course, when someone yells “2K”.

Now, that’s another post altogether.




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