After the highs of winning novices rowing, I was then 'demoted' out of the stroke-seat... not really that any seat is more or less important than the next. There is the responsibility of setting the rhythm and pace while racing if you are in the stroke seat. The saddest part was that no one told me why the move, and it was dropped on me as I was about to row... no warning. I have discovered that despite the advancing years of most of the participants of club rowing (that is most have passed puberty), their mentality towards sports is no more advanced than the schoolyard.... where you are in or out, good or bad depending upon more than just your ability to complete the sporting skill required.
I have had several retrospective placating comments about the 'why', ranging from you were too stressed, to you weren't fast enough, to you're better paired with that guy in that seat.... sadly a large part would be schoolyard thinking I believe. Given that we in fact won novices with me in the seat.
I'd like to say that it stops at the boat, but given a blazing argument I had with a rower from our club who should know better jumping the boating queue past 14 yr old girls crew waiting in baking heat... sadly the law of the schoolyard never leaves some people.....
...sadly, more than once I have found myself pining for a return to just running... when its you verses the distance, the clock, and your own sole set of goals it seems somehow 'purer' (that's probably not a word 'more pure').
[On 'sober' reflection my own reaction was as bad as the situation I perceived. Still these thoughts were true of the moment, so I won't censor myself.]