Rowing, the Best Team Sport
Rowing, the thrilling team sport that gets you physically/mentally fit and provides you a second family with many friends. In the sport of crew, teamwork is very crucial. With that teamwork comes new friends and wonderful coaches. Even though you might think this is a physical sport it is also considered to be a mental sport. Just think, baseball has nine innings, approximately two hours of play and a lot can change in that period of time for a loss or win. With crew you only have about seven minutes to get your eight man boat down a two thousand-meter racecourse to receive a medal or win. If you have the lead it is mentally hard to come back and win for the rowers behind the top three boats.
Aside of the teamwork going on is the individual effort that you yourself is contributing to the boat. As you are out on the water in the eight man boat you always need to give it your all even if it means pain. In fact, our coach just tells us to eat pain. As you are giving 100% and in pain, your brain is working 100% too. Handle height, legs down quick and hands down and away quick along with the part of feathering the blade. Those are the things you focus on during a race. Oh yeah you also have a cool little person screaming at you to pull harder. They are known as the coxswain (Cox-in). When the coach isn’t there listen to them because they are the assistant coaches. All this is the first stride you take to get that gold medal.
Come on you can do one more push up! When you’re in the gym you do not have the support of teammates. At crew you will not give up because of the support you have from your teammates behind you. In the gym you can just say, “Oh that set can be done another day,” and give up. We have in crew on Tuesday and Thursday a 2k-meter ergometer (erg) test to see who will be in an 8A boat, that is our eight fastest men of our crew. These are the days that you need your friends behind you pushing you so your time comes true that the couch gives you. I know this might seem harsh but when it is all over with you feel very great about the way you look and how you just pulled on the 2k test. In the years I have played baseball running around the bases for thirty minutes was a pain. With rowing I now look forward to those longer runs because it builds stamina and cardiovascular fitness for the win on race day. With life being a great big challenge crew is preparing me for that challenge in many ways. Working with others and gaining respect for the more wise and elders are the two main things that crew will teach you.
The last stride, putting the power to work in the boat. You now need technique. When you get that down pat the boat will scream down the course faster than anyone. In the eight man boat there is the coxswain and eight rowers including you. The boat is approximately sixty feet long and in the middle it is about two feet wide. All hands are down . . . . .. Attention . . . ROW. And we are off, the power is horrendous and our boat is in the lead. The send of the boat is feeling great. Seven minutes later Capital Crew, who I row for takes first place. After nine months of work, five days a week, and two and half-hours a day pays off and the victory is here. The gold medal is presented to you in front of the rest of the losing crews. The part that is most fun is at championships, the other crews give you their jersey if you get first.
With all those strides there is to take the “F” word of them all is FUN. Rowing is now clearly the thrilling team sport that gets you physically/mentally fit and provides you with a second family of many friends. Friend is what crew is all about. Without them you should go do gymnastics or curling the non team sport. My body has never been in this good of shape. My mind still thinks how will I get this workout done but when it is over with I feel great. It may seem tuff but when you give it a try you will never stop thinking of rowing. Remember it never hurts to try a new sport because you can always quit if it doesn’t seem fun. Well, I have to go row now so give it a try and see for yourself the benefits you gain from crew.