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    18 Secrets Rowers Will Never Tell You

    We've all endured the same grueling training sessions and early morning starts.

    1. You know that catching a crab has nothing to do with shellfish.

    Thai National Parks / Creative Commons / Via

    Unless it means that you end up swimming with them.

    2. And that throwing the smallest person on your team into a freezing river by way of a victory celebration is perfectly normal.

    Flickr: thetorpedodog / Creative Commons

    3. You've had so many blisters on your hands you can't remember what smooth skin feels like.

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail / Via

    And you feel secretly proud of yourself that you keep on powering through, anyway.

    4. People often ask you whether rowing is a "real sport".

    5. Your coach has strange ideas about what constitutes a "motivational" quote.

    Rachel Phipps / BuzzFeed

    Just what you want to be reading directly above a note listing your power strokes for the session.

    6. Your team calls your cox lazy, but jumps to their defence if anyone else calls them that.

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    7. A room full of Concept 2's will always fill you with dread.

    Rachel Phipps

    But in the gym you can annoy the hell out of every non-rower who is taller and stronger than you, because you can still erg faster.

    8. You danced like a lunatic when you beat your best 2k time.

    9. The Oxford vs. Cambridge University Boat Race is the most exciting televised sporting event of the year.

    Flickr: zoonabar / Creative Commons

    10. Waking up at 6am for training no longer counts as getting up early. / Via

    So when you have a chance to have a lie in, you really make it count.

    11. Every time you see a nice, calm, flat piece of water you imagine what it would be like to row on.

    Rachel Phipps / Via

    12. You've felt like this at the end of a race...

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    ... and then realised that you've got to row back the same distance to the start before you can get your boat off the water.

    13. You run out of responses to people commenting that "you must have strong arms".

    14. If you're sitting from 2 to Stroke it is perfect reasonable for your coach to ask you to get the person sitting behind you "soaking wet" while you're doing technical exercises.

    Flickr: michaelwm25 / Creative Commons

    15. You secretly hate those people who claim to have only ever fallen in on a capsize drill.

    16. You know the difference between a race, a head, and a regatta.

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    17. You know that Henley is about more than dressing up in boat club blazers and drinking too much Pimm's.

    Flickr: winkyintheuk / Creative Commons

    Though it is the perfect silver lining when your boat doesn't qualify.

    18. Rowing means that you don't have a social life outside the boat club. / Via

    But none of this really matters, because through all of the pain, freezing cold and 5am starts, you’ve made best friends for life.

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