"No recreation, no method of exercise, no out-door or in-door  sport, offers less temptations and more advantages than rowing.  In truth, excellence as an oarsman is wholly inconsistent with dissipation or excess of any nature. Regular habits, constant exercise, open-air life, and plain food, are essential to every man who aspires to endurance, skill, and rowing fame. There is no more certain way of fitting the mind and heart for vigorous labor and the reception of careful culture than by putting the body in perfect condition. Let this work of physical culture go on until every American shall deem it as important to educate the body as to train and improve the mind." 
Charles Peverelly, "The Book of American Pastimes," 2nd ed., 1868