If you asked my dad 5 years ago which of his two daughters would he think would be participating in a sport on the collegiate level, he would have HANDS DOWN said my sister.
I have played nearly EVERY sport ever invented for at least one practice: Gymnastics, dance, horseback riding, synchronized swimming, swimming, soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, track, golf… get the picture? My best friend started rowing the second semester of our freshman year and literally talked non-stop about it. Everyone at our high school considered crew to be somewhat of a cult, and my best friend had been sucked in to it. Somehow, she convinced me to go to the Learn to Row Camp after school ended.
I can honestly say that the only reason why I went was so that I could make her stop talking about it! Much to everyone’s, and I mean EVERYONE, surprise, I lasted the full two weeks. I was seriously hooked. I started off as a rower, not a coxswain. And the funny thing about that is that I was 2 inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than I am now, which means I was bound to be a downright horrible rower. I had good technique, but I just couldn’t compete with the bigger and stronger girls. I almost quit so many times, but I couldn’t because I just loved the sport too much.
I went to a rowing camp at Princeton with my friends and thinking that I was taking the easy way out, signed up as a novice coxswain. HAHA. What was I thinking? It was the MOST challenging thing I had ever done, and I basically stunk. No, I really stunk. I vowed I would never cox again. My coaches at the camp knew the coaches from my HS (the rowing world is quite small) and they told them that I learned to cox.
When our fall season started back up, the men’s coach asked if I would cox for the guys for the day. I reluctantly agreed… it was only one day right? I must have done an OK job because I coxed the rest of the week. The men’s coach and women’s coach decided I would row half the week with the girls and cox for the novice men the other half of the week. I never rowed again though.
The rest is history. I can honestly say that I have learned so much about myself through rowing, as cliché as that sounds. Yesterday went really well. I re-fall in love with the sport after good races like those.
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race was yesterday. The race really captures the competitive nature and historical background of rowing. Check it out!