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200 Inspirational Rowing Quotes and Sayings (2023)

1. “Impossible” is not a word!


2. “I’ve never heard anyone profess indifference to a boat race. Why should you row a boat race? Why endure long months of pain in preparation for a violent half hour or even six minutes that will leave you nearly dead? Does anyone ask the question? Is there anyone who wouldn’t take all of their cost and more for that moment when fear turns to triumph – or even for the glory of having lost nobly? Is life less than a boat race? If a man will give all his blood to win the one, will he not expend all his soul to win the other?”


3. “When your legs stop screaming and your lungs burst, that’s when it starts. This is the injured locker. Winners love it there.” –Chris McCormack


4. “Building Bridges, Fostering Unity.”


5. “Everything can be made fun of. The most serious things are ripe for making fun of them. ”


6. “A good shell has to have life and resiliency to get in harmony with the swing of the crew.”


7. “How a High Carbo Diet for 2k Rowing and Erg Races Can Help You Go FAST”


8. “Winning medals is good, racing is better, loving the sport is best!”


9. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


10. “I can’t” is not an option!


11. “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game!”


12. Addressing pain in the head makes you stronger


13. “I’ll try” is not enough — go do it!


14. “Innovation, having fun and giving back, should be the core values for everyone. ”


15. Row with your heart


16. “On race day, there’s tremendous anxiety. Leading up to the stake boat, I distinctly remember saying to myself, ‘I can’t wait till this is over.’”- Frank Shields


17. Lose yourself in the power of the line


18. “The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it.”


19. “I love and approve of myself. I love and approve of my body. I feed it nourishing foods and beverages. I exercise it in ways that are fun. ”


20. Judgemental


21. “Creating Hope, Inspiring Change.”


22. “Philanthropy is fun and fulfilling. ”


23. “If anyone here has a secret dream of making it to the Olympics, I can tell you exactly how, two words: ongoing obsession. The obsession is not that difficult. But keeping it up is a tough nut to crack. A sincere enemy can go a long way in maintaining your obsession. Love your enemy.”


24. “She seemed to see a flash of bright sunlight on dark green water, fragmented into brilliant shards by the splashing rise and fall of oars.”


25. “The pain in your legs is a hell of a long way from your heart.”


26. “Most of the time spent wrestling with technologies that don’t quite work yet is just not worth it for end users, however much fun it is for nerds. ”


27. “I’m too busy” is not an excuse — make time for what matters!


28. “Setting an example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing. ”


29. Ultimate success requires continued obsession


30. “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field. ”


31. “Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.”


32. “It’s too hard” is unacceptable — find a way!


33. ‎Unframed


34. “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read. ”


35. “Colleagues should take care of each other, have fun, celebrate success, learn by failure, look for reasons to praise not to criticize, communicate freely and respect each other. ”


36. “I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore. ”


37. “Whoever wrote ‘row, row, row your boat gently down the stream’ certainly never rowed with us.”


38. You get not enough motivation


39. “Winning a rowing race is not like winning anything else. Here’s my theory: you’re facing backwards, so you’re looking at the people you’re beating – and there’s something exquisite about that.”


40. “Rowing is such a fine sport. Everyone goes backward, and the leader can see his opponents as they struggle in vain.” – Brad Alan Lewis


41. Make the leap to greatness


42. Rowing together or walking backwards


43. “No one guy can make the boat go faster by himself.” – Harry Parker


44. “Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. ”


45. “I don’t deserve anything, I have to earn my seat everyday.”


46. “Having fun is a very particular skill. And not everyone has that skill. ”


47. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine


48. “It’s better to create something that others criticise than to create nothing and criticise others. Go create, have fun!!”


49. “How often have I watched, and longed to imitate when I should be free to live as I chose, a rower who had slipped his oars and lay flat on his back in the bottom of the boat, letting it drift with the current, seeing nothing but the sky gliding slowly by above him, his face aglow with a foretaste of happiness and peace!”


50. “When you feel like you can’t row your legs anymore, start rowing with your heart.”


51. “Crew is like crack. It disturbs your sleep. It destroys your body. It introduces you to totally weird people. It is expensive. It takes you from the real world to a fantasy land. You start doing it way too often as you build a tolerance. You can’t stop You love it, but you know you shouldn’t. You stick with it because you have this bizarre notion that life just wouldn’t be the same without her.”


52. Rectangular


53. “Few experiences can match the exhilarating pleasure of gently stroking your hand through the cool smoothness of the water, feeling the heaving movement, the gentle rise in pressure and the caress between your fingers with every pull of the oars.”


54. “In rowing I found a sport that demanded some skill, granted, but placed a much higher premium on plain hard work and persistence.” – Harry Parker


55. “How do you know you’re having fun if there’s no one watching you have it?”


56. “A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.”


57. “I stopped rowing for a moment to glug down some water, but it was warm, tasted of plastic, and failed to refresh. I yearned for an ice-cold drink—preferably one with bubbles and alcohol in it.”


58. “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. ”


59. ‎Inspirational


60. “Spare yourself from seeking love, approval, or appreciation-from anyone. And watch what happens in reality, just for fun. ”


61. “Healing Lives, Restoring Dignity.”


62. “To win, you have to do something the boat next to you won’t do.” -Anonymous


63. “Have fun do good and the money will come. ”


64. “Making a Difference, One Heart at a Time.”


65. “How to force yourself to play sports? Just take the first step and start rowing. Only in the process, you start to love sports. Only in the gym, you get a taste. Take the first steps and you’ll be satisfied with the final result.”


66. “Creating Opportunities, Igniting Dreams.”


67. “I have never heard anyone profess indifference to a boat race. Why should you row a boat race? Why endure long months of pain in preparation of a fierce half hour, or even six minutes, that will leave you all but dead? Does anyone ask the question? Is there anyone who would not go through all its costs, and more, for the moment when anguish breaks into triumph - or even for the glory of having nobly lost? Is life less than a boat race? If a man will give all the blood in his body to win the one, will he not spend all the might of his soul to prevail in the other?”


68. “Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!”


69. “If I pass out, please note my time.”


70. Trustworthy


71. “The rowing machine – I think if you add some chest work, do some push-ups. That’s all you need to stay fit. Healthy. Strong.”


72. “Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun. ”


73. “Rowers…can do anything, and they’re good at it. Joining the rowing team will be the biggest decision you will ever make if you choose to accept the harsh realities of the sport. Through it you will understand the invaluable value of an indomitable mind—and most importantly, you will learn that your achievements in life are only limited by the magnitude of your drive to achieve them.” – Amy Yao


74. Believe in being the best


75. “There is a moment, right before a person blacks out, when their vision blurs and their hearing falters. At that point most people would stop whatever they’re doing. Rowers keep erging, keep running, keep lifting. They ignore the warning signs and keep destroying the piece.”


76. “Protecting Our Planet, Securing Our Future.”


77. “Impossible – this is not a fact. Just a loud word, behind which small and weak personalities are hiding. These are opinions, not sentences. This is a chance to show what you are capable of. Impossible is possible!”


78. Be a winner


79. Perhaps you train too hard


80. “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. ”


81. “I will NOT give in! – No way…” Even in the face of an earth shattering storm, or a length down with 250 meters to go, or being told to go home – you’re not good enough. This is truly a magnificent personality trait of all great rowers.


82. “Always appreciate the gift of life! Be happy and have fun!”


83. “Pulling out the chair beneath your mind And watching you fall upon God What else is there for Hafiz to do that is any fun in this world!”


84. “Breaking Barriers, Embracing Inclusion.”


85. “When one rows, it is not the rowing which moves the ship, rowing is only a magical ceremony by means of which one compels a demon to move the ship” – Friedrich Nietzsche


86. “You don’t want to look back and know you could have done better.”


87. Feel the excitement of the challenge


88. “Only those who don’t row have time to rock the boat.”


89. “All your life you are told the things you cannot do; all your life they will say you’re not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. They will tell you no, a thousand times no, until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no quite firmly and very quickly. But you will tell them yes.”


90. “Empowering Communities, Changing Lives.”


91. “No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


92. “Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. ”


93. “Rowing is perhaps the toughest of sports. Once the race starts, there are no timeouts, no substitutions. It calls upon the limits of human endurance. The coach must therefor impart the secrets of the special kind of endurance that comes from the mind, heart, and body. – George Pocock


94. “Pain? Yes, of course. Racing without pain is not racing. But the pleasure of being ahead outweighed the pain a million times over. To hell with the pain. What's six minutes of pain compared to the pain they're going to feel for the next six months or six decades. You never forget your wins and losses in this sport. YOU NEVER FORGET.”


95. Rowing to be healthy and fit


96. “If you are the only one who's rowing in the boat, you have no right to complain about which way you are heading!”


97. “To increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”


98. “Crew: a sport practiced in rowing boats where the participants willfully awake before dawn and run to practice where they spend one to two hours sitting on a hard wood seat and pull on oars to such a level as to cause their bodies to go into oxygen debt, resulting in formation of lactic acid in their blood, which causes substantial pain and discomfort in all major muscle groups. This activity is usually performed twice a day in the name of fun, and is conducted under the demonic supervision of a person called “Coach”, with the help of his trained servant named “coxswain”.


99. “Take it easy baby, take it as it comes – specialize in having fun!”


100. “Empowering Voices, Amplifying Change.”


101. “And those were the kind of people I needed in my life.” 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻


102. See the competition clearly


103. “Working Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow.”


104. “Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested. ”


105. Let momentum carry your ambition


106. “Glory is in the team not the individual.” – Sean Sullivan


107. “Standing there watching them, it occurred to me that when Hitler watched Joe and the boys fight their way back from the rear of the field to sweep ahead of Italy and Germany seventy-five years ago, he saw, but did not recognize heralds of his doom. He could not have known that one day hundreds of thousands of boys just like them, boys who shared their essential natures--decent and unassuming, not privileged or favored by anything in particular, just loyal, committed, and perseverant--would return to Germany dressed in olive drab, hunting him down.


108. “To be in shape, you do not need extra effort. Fifteen minutes and five exercises a day for different muscle groups is enough. Rowing, squats, push-ups on triceps and off the floor three times a week make wonders.”


109. “When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED. ”


110. “Transforming Lives, One Step at a Time.”


111. “I suppose it sounds archaic, but I can’t help but think that people with power boats are missing out a lot. If they just stuck to rowboats or canoes and rowed or paddled themselves, they would benefit infinitely more… But I’ve rarely thought of sport just as a sport. First and foremost, I took it because I liked it…”


112. “Time flies when you are having fun. ”


113. “Life is too short to worry about what others say about you. Have fun and give them something to talk about. ”


114. “If it ain’t fun don’t do it. ”


115. “Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?”


116. “If anyone here is secretly dreaming of making the Olympics, I can tell you exactly how to do it, two words: Sustained Obsession. The obsession isn’t so hard. But keeping it sustained is a tough nut to crack. A heart-felt enemy can go a long way to sustaining your obsession. Love your enemy.” – Brad Alan Lewis


117. “When rowing, we look back to see how far we’ve come rather than how far we still have to go.”


118. “Rowing is the only sport you win by sitting backwards on your bum.”


119. “The only good race pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die.” – Steve Prefontaine


120. “I’ve worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I will not let my teammates down, and I will not let myself down.”


121. “Rowing is a simple sport stuffed up by experts.” – Roger Moore


122. “Rowing is a fun thing. It’s not just a sport. It’s an outlet for pain through pain. It is a teacher of discipline and determination. It pushes you to your breaking point and teaches you to bend instead of break. It combines grace and power. it makes you strong It gives you family. It is your psychologist and your home away from home. Occasionally it is known to save someone from themselves. Yes. Rowing is a fun thing.”


123. “Normal people do not have blisters on their hands. They can sleep as long as they want on the weekends. They do not have to erg. They do not have to feel the pain we go through during a race. But they do not have a crew. They aren’t as fit as we are. They will never experience the feeling we have after finishing a race. They will never prove how far they can go. They will never race. And they will never row.”


124. “There is no strength without unity.”


125. “The oars gave me power, but also taught me humility.”


126. “You’re not trying to win a race in one shot — you’re trying to win it by just being a little faster, one shot at a time, over many, many, many shots. Once you truly believe that doing your best and your team doing their best will get you to the top of the podium, start trusting yourself to focus on making the small wins – a faster catch finding how to go a fraction of a split faster from one week to the next on the same workout – helps you become the best.”


127. “A boat will not move forward if everyone rows their own way.”


128. “When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead. ”


129. “Everyone has a choice – to complain about poor genetics, metabolism, fatigue, employment, etc, or stand up from the chair and go to work. Work on yourself, set a goal and believe in it no matter what. By doing this, you are to achieve success.


130. “Promoting Equality, Building a Just Society.”


131. “Resilience in the Face of Adversity.”


132. “Eight hearts must beat as one in an eight oared shell or you don’t have a crew!”- George Pocock


133. Work hard and don’t rock the boat


134. “In rowing, as in life, there are competitors and there are racers. The competitor works hard and rows to his limit. The racer does not think of limits, only the race.” – Jim Dietz


135. Crew is a funny thing


136. “Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings us but by the attitude we bring to life.”


137. “People don’t realize how much fun it is to be depressed. ”


138. “A good shell must be viable and resilient to harmonize with the momentum of the crew.”


139. “No crew member is praised for the robust individuality of their rowing.”


140. “Have fun, work hard and money will come. Don’t waste time – grab your chances. Have a positive outlook on life. When it’s not fun, move on. ”


141. “And so, over time, the rowing boat and I became one and the same – like the archer and his bow, or the artist and his paint. What I learned wasn’t mastery of the elements; it was self-mastery, that’s what conquest is ultimately about.”


142. “But the greatest paradox of the sport has to do with the psychological makeup of the people who pull the oars. Great oarsmen and oarswomen are necessarily made of conflicting stuff—of oil and water, fire and earth. On the one hand, they must possess enormous self-confidence, strong egos, and titanic willpower. They must be almost immune to frustration. Nobody who does not believe deeply in himself or herself—in his or her ability to endure hardship and to prevail over adversity—is likely even to attempt something as audacious as competitive rowing at the highest levels. The sport offers so many opportunities for suffering and so few opportunities for glory that only the most tenaciously self-reliant and self-motivated are likely to succeed at it. And yet, at the same time—and this is key—no other sport demands and rewards the complete abandonment of the self the way that rowing does. Great crews may have men or women of exceptional talent or strength; they may have outstanding coxswains or stroke oars or bowmen; but they have no stars. The team effort—the perfectly synchronized flow of muscle, oars, boat, and water; the single, whole, unified, and beautiful symphony that a crew in motion becomes—is all that matters. Not the individual, not the self.”


143. Celebrate progress


144. Be enthusiastic and resilient


145. This is not a gentle stream!


146. “Education for All, Unlocking Potential.”


147. Perhaps you row not hard enough


148. ‎Wall Mount


149. “All were merged into one smoothly working machine; they were in fact, a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades.” – Boys in the Boat


150. “If my name remained in rowing history, I owe it not to mother nature and not to happy genes. But first of all to those who made up the environment where I grew up and was brought up. To those who taught me how to work and perform the rowing.


151. “Rowers…can do it all, and they can do it well. Joining the rowing team will be the greatest decision you will ever make, if you choose to accept the harsh realities of the sport. By doing so, you will understand the incalculable value of an indomitable spirit – and you will learn, above all, that your achievements in life are limited only by the magnitude of your drive to achieve them.” – Amy Yao


152. Your technique may not be good enough


153. “For me, becoming the best you can be in something that you love, like rowing, is incredibly challenging, and what you learn about yourself, the sense of satisfaction as you get older and move on, you’ll never forget that. It’s huge.” – Tyler Winklevoss


154. Be the master of your destiny


155. “Be spontaneous, be creative, go out and have fun, let things happen naturally. ”


156. “Everybody has same or the other weakness. This eis also a a general tendency to conceal theee weaknesses. For people may not harm for these, but they will surely ridicule or make fun of. Friendship, of course feigned should be retained with enemy till his weakness is known. Let him remain elated. ”


157. “For the rest of your life, you will always be able to say I was a member of a very special team whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”


158. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to obtain uncommon results.”


159. “Compassion in Action.”


160. “Rowing is a sport for dreamers. As long as you put in the work, you can own the dream. When the work stops, the dream disappears.” – Jim Dietz


161. “I find that the standard of living does not go up in proportion with the cost of living. The trick in life is to do things that are fun all the time. ”


162. Push yourself


163. “Advocating for Justice, Upholding Human Rights.”


164. “There is nothing better than winning a rowing race. You’re looking backwards, so you’re looking at the people you’re defeating. There is something very intense about that.”


165. “Crew is like crack. It interferes with your sleep. It destroys your body. It introduces you to totally weird people. It’s expensive. It takes you away from the real world and into a fantasy land. You start doing it way too much, as you build up a tolerance. You can’t stop. You love it, but you know that you shouldn’t. You stick with it because you have this bizarre idea that life would just not be the same without it.


166. “The road is long, we carry on, try to have fun in the meantime. ”


167. “You know what it would just be amazing to be remembered, you know like a mum telling a daughter ‘the boyband of my time, One Direction, they just had fun and they’re just normal guys but terrible, terrible dancers. ’”


168. “Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language. ”


169. “What moves me towards the goal? My weakness, that I cannot stand and turn into strength, in order to continue the struggle.


170. “Nobody has ever taken a break from a boat race. There’s no place you can stop and sip a satisfying water or take a lungful of cool, invigorating air. You just keep an eye on the guy’s red, sweaty neck in front of you and row until they tell you it’s over… Neighbor, it’s no game for a softie.”


171. “Most of my life I have done what I wanted to do. I have had fun on the job. ”


172. “Don’t Quite. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.”


173. “I would say that life at 84, I am having as much fun as I’ve ever had in my life. I mean I get to do what I love every day with the people I love-and it just doesn’t get any better than that. ”


174. “We are here to learn, to make a difference and to have fun. ”


175. ‎Rectangular


176. Your program may not suit you


177. “Serving Those in Need, Guided by Compassion.”


178. Take the harder route for greater benefit


179. “The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun. ”


180. “I will say that rowing in the first Olympics was probably one of the most proud moments in my life. What I enjoy about the sport is that it’s definitive. Nobody can take away from the fact that you’re an Olympian. It’s indisputable. You get there on merit and merit alone.” – Cameron Winklevoss


181. “The road to hell is 8 lanes wide and 2K long.”


182. “Rowing, especially sculling, inflicts pain on the individual with every race that few other sports can match. There was certainly pain in football when there was a head-on collision, pain in other sports when there was a serious injury. It was more the threat of pain; When it came to rowing, there was always an absolute guarantee of that.”


183. “I don’t know how” is not an excuse — learn and do it!


184. “A coach is someone who always makes you do what you don’t want to do so you can be who you’ve always wanted to be.”


185. “Work hard, be yourself, and have fun!”


186. “Real athletes row. Everyone else just plays games.”


187. “When your legs scream stop and your lungs are bursting. That’s when it starts. That’s the hurt locker. Winners love it there.”


188. “Violence is fun, man. ”


189. “If you’re the only one rowing in the boat, you have no right to complain about which direction you’re going!”


190. “Together for a Better World.”


191. “In order to win you have to do something that the boat next to you isn’t willing to do.”


192. “Supporting Women, Empowering Generations.”


193. Rowing is a fun thing


194. “Rowing is a funny thing. It’s not just a sport. It’s an outlet for pain through pain. It’s a teacher of discipline and determination. It takes you to your breaking point, and teaches you to bend rather than snap. It marries grace and power. It makes you strong. It give you family. It’s your psychologist and your second home. On occasion, it’s been known to save someone from themselves. Yes. Rowing is a funny thing.”


195. “Coming to the competition, I do not pay attention to who my rival is. Although I respect every opponent, my only desire is to win. Whoever is on the other side of the competition, my competitor is the girl in the mirror.


196. “As I've gotten older, I realize I'm certain of only two things. Days that begin with rowing on a lake are better than days that do not. Second, a man's character is his fate. And as a student of history, I find this hard to refute. For most of us our stories can be written long before we die. There are exceptions among the great men of history, but they are rare..”


197. “Caring Hands, Brighter Futures.”


198. “To a young heart everything is fun. ”


199. There is no “I” in the team


200. The irony of rowing


201. “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game. ”


202. “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously. ”


203. “Rowers do more before 8am than most people do all day.”


204. “Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there. Make motivation a habit and you will get there more quickly and have more fun on the trip. ”


205. Push it through

There you go! Some motivational quotes with an inspirational quote here or there to stop you going in the wrong direction the next time you're rowing.


Pick up those falling oars, and increase that short period of time so you can hit the finish line in first place.

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