Summary of That’s Outside My Boat

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That’s Outside My Boat book summary

Editorial Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

What do Olympic rowers, a radio host, a TV producer, three NFL players, a sailboat skipper, an explorer, a sports columnist and a golf-course architect all have in common? They operate according to the same principle: Don’t worry about “what you can’t control”; focus only on “what you can control.” Like the rowers, winning people ignore what’s “outside their boat” and pay attention only to what’s “inside their boat.” Charlie Jones and Kim Doren offer an anthology of 55 vignettes written by a cross-section of people who put this practical philosophy to work with great success. Most of the tales are compelling and meaningful, making the collection a warm, worthwhile and enjoyable read. getAbstract recommends these inspiring stories to readers who are ready to embrace a single idea: Focus on what’s in your own boat, and row.

About the Authors

Charlie Jones, a network sportscaster, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sportswoman Kim Doren has worked as a marketing director and media consultant.

Summary

Don’t Worry About the Wind

In 1987, the rowing World Championships took place offshore near Copenhagen, a difficult rowing venue because of its notoriously heavy winds. A line of tall trees protects the rowers in lane one from the usual gale, but wide-open lane six takes the brunt of its force. In that outside lane, rowers must battle not only the heavy winds, but the big waves that the wind creates.

The day of the finals, the wind whipped up 18-inch waves at the starting line. In the next-to-last race, the Dutch women’s team had the bad luck to draw lane six. To protest, they quit rowing with only 300 meters to go, yelled at the officials and gestured angrily at the TV cameras.

The US women’s team drew lane six for the finals, but didn’t protest. Despite the treacherous position and despite being seriously outsized by the strong Soviet and East German rowing teams, the US women held first place after 500 meters. They finished second, behind the Romanians, who edged them out near the end of the race.

After the race, US crew members said they hadn’t focused on the heavy winds or the waves. Instead, they locked their attention on Betsy, their coxswain...


Comment on this summary

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    P. B. 6 years ago
    Interesting read
  • Avatar
    D. P. 6 years ago
    I enjoyed the title but the rest of the summary didn't particularly support or add to it.
  • Avatar
    A. G. 6 years ago
    Very insightful...something we need to be reminded of regularly.

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