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116 Years of The Pull
The weeks of training have come to a final afternoon. In a Hope College tradition that began in 1898, freshman and sophomore teams face one another across the water on a crisp fall day, tethered together by a rope that each intends to claim. Each team has 36 members: 18 "pullers" on the rope, and 18 "moralers" who relay directions and help keep the pullers focused.
You're pushing yourself to the limit (many say past the limit), working in unison with team mates who are giving their all, too. And you are facing an opponent you cannot see, but who you know is doing the same.
If you're a puller, you wait for the signal from the moraler--your eyes, since you can't see the signals while lying in the pit--and then heave for all you're worth, willing the rope home. Then you lock in and try to keep the other side from doing the same.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
In three hours, maybe less, the contest will be over. The memories, though, will last a lifetime.