Once when I was doing trail work in Tennessee I was sitting on the trail, eating lunch, when I felt something, like a little pinch. I ignored it, but I kept feeling little stings, and when I looked down, I realized I was sitting right next to a hornet nest, and they were stinging me. I think they stung me five times before I even thought to locate the source of the problem, and once I did I moved, but it wasn’t a big deal at all. I was so epically bug bitten that summer that a few hornet stings were nothing to worry about. They barely hurt, and I had other, more important things going on.
Last year, around this time, I was locked in a deadly struggle with one of my best friends on the crew team over a spot in the boat. She took what I viewed as “my” seat, and then I took it back, and rowed in the 3V in our last regatta while she rowed in the 4V. She’s a better rower, but I honestly believe I deserved it more, that I was a better rower for that boat, my boat that I had been with all year, and that I had earned it (she had been abroad in the fall, and sick for most of the season, and she had injury problems that prevented her from erg testing at all, and I had been killing myself training so I could finish my senior year strong). Things were unpleasant though, and it clouded my last couple of weeks on the team. Now we’re ok, considering the distance, and schedules, and just having busy lives. We don’t talk much, but there’s affection, and whatever happened in the past is water under the bridge.
One of the things we first bonded over was a mutual love of the ABC Family show Make It or Break It, which started again tonight. We were texting during the dramatic parts, and she dropped the detail that now she’s in the 1V. I knew she had moved up boats, but the 1V is for Amazons. I never even dreamed of being in the 1V, I wouldn’t have even liked it, I would have been too scared. I can’t lie and say I didn’t feel a smidge of jealousy, but it was just a tiny sting. When I thought about it for a second, and that’s all that it took, I realized that as much as I love rowing (and I really, really do), I’m not a 1V rower. I wasn’t even a 2V rower, I was a lucky-to-be-3V rower, and so I can be happy for my friend, because she is a 1V gal. I get it now, why last year was so hard for her too, and even though we’re past it, now we’re even more past it. Now that I’m out of school, and going to nursing school soon, and getting an apartment, there are too many things to focus on to be worried about tiny little stings. I’m happy for her. I don’t need to be jealous. This is a new thing for me, but I kind of like it. I’m not sure, but I think this is personal growth, and it feels good.