NTA ATLA LGBT
The song went your head.
Maybe that’s why it’s called “a round.” You know how it works: one group starts to sing and, when they get to a certain point, the next group begins anew and so on, until the endings lap like waves. But, as in the new book “Course Correction” by Ginny Gilder, the things we plan don’t always go merrily, merrily, merrily.
The first time Ginny Gilder ever saw a rowing team in action, she was 16 and didn’t quite know what she was seeing. Everything about that boat, its rowers, and the motion spoke of serenity and control—things Gilder lacked in her young life. She was “a goner.” Two years later, while enrolled at Yale, she finally got a chance to try the sport, though the women’s rowing coach strongly discouraged her. Gilder was physically shorter than is optimal for a rower and, because Title IX (ensuring an end to gender discrimination at federally funded institutions) had only recently passed, she’d never seriously engaged in sports before. She was out of shape and inexperienced, but determined.
She started training, running, and practicing. Within six weeks, she was competing.
“Everything hurt,” she says, “including my butt. My hands sported new blisters, my lungs felt like they had been rubbed with sandpaper... I had never felt happier.”
For the rest of that year, Gilder threw herself into her newfound love, barely socializing except with teammates at workouts, training, and competitions. Rowing helped her focus and forget about the home life she’d escaped: her family’s wealth, her father’s infidelity, and her mother’s mental health issues. Rowing helped hide her self-consciousness and lack of self-esteem.
She saw her teammates swagger and confidence, and she saw two of them try out for the US Olympic team in Montreal. At least one teammate was gay and didn’t try to hide it; says Gilder, “I couldn’t imagine being that bold or comfortable…” Her self-doubts were exacerbated by family naysayers and by