I just discovered "Assault on Lake Casitas" by Brad Lewis, which describes his quest for sculling gold at the 1984 Olympics. It is a variation on David Halberstam's "The Amateurs," which is the best sports book I have ever read.
The beauty of The Amateurs and the sport of rowing is that the athletes are pursuing an activity in which there is generally no monetary recognition or reward. They do it for the love of the sport and its community. People all pursuing the same thing - suffering, progress and a goal.
I am stuck somewhere in the middle - I love the community but I have not really joined it other than superficially at work where I am known as the fitness guy. I should definitely work on embracing it more to see if I really do have a spiritual side. Probably not but worth a shot.