There comes a point in every rower’s life when the Rowing World starts to overlap with the Real World. Specifically, your rowing friends meet your normal friends and your secret life as a weirdo-river-lover is exposed. Is there anything scarier than someone announcing, “Ooh, I met someone you row with”?

This has happened to me more and frequently of late, so I think it’s time I came clean with an aspect of my rowing life I’ve tried to keep quiet until now.

Here’s the thing. We go in for quite a lot of nicknames at my rowing club, and I have not escaped. I won’t go into how exactly it came about, except to say that autocorrect was involved. The fact is… my rowing nickname is…

Trash.

Or, if someone’s feeling particularly affectionate (ie. wanting me to cox), Trashy.

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So there. I’ve said it. No more secrets. But if you really want me to cox, I’d recommend addressing me as “madam”, “my Lady” – or, better still, “can I buy you another drink?”