Out in Public

I think everyone at one time in their life was (or still is) afraid of doing things in public. Society has all these set standards on what we should be doing, how we should be doing it and where we should be doing it. Today’s Valentine’s Day and I didn’t have any special plans except to participate in my crew team’s ergathon fundraiser. Erg is a land rowing machine that simulates the pressure and stride of rowing with a monitor to measure stroke rate, speed, distance, time and our supporters can donate $10 for every 1K we row or $1 for a power 10 (10 fast strong strokes at 150% effort). Despite the number of students who didn’t know us, or lack of carrying real money around and that weird feeling you get knowing you want to support a good cause but you don’t have money and you’re a broke college student and hungry but you can actually see all the hard work your friends on the crew team are working. And I think while we may not have raised a huge amount of money at our ergathon there were a lot of friends, classmates and even prospective students and families on tour that got to see how hard all the rowers work and what crew is about.

We had hour erging shifts for everyone to get their daily Saturday workout and show our campus (at least those that were up and ventured to the Sub in the morning, although we kept going until 3pm) more about crew. We’re a more obscure sport, we don’t have an official DIII conference anymore and by nature of the sport, smaller teams, less knowledge about it (it’s a legs sport guys NOT an arms sport) that being out in public was good!


crew n. a team rowing together in a racing shell

When I came to Puget Sound I thought I knew what “girl” I wanted to re-make myself into, since you know it’s college, but that vision I had is not who I am today and I’m glad. I didn’t think I would end up joining a varsity sport in college, I mean I barely even played sports in high school (Marching band is kinda technically a sport, okay?) I don’t know what I was thinking going to a Crew interest meeting, but if I had any doubts, their promotional video sold me (yay Etan!!). And then learning to row/cox with the rest of the girls was amazing (shoutout to Betsy!!), I quickly became amazing friends with Becky & McKenna! Because crew isn’t a common high school sport, there is a novice/JV level of competition that we participated in during the fall season.

Then spring came, and although I initially worked with the novice women still, an opportunity opened up and I got moved up to the men’s varsity team as their second coxswain. It was a huge shock, despite the men’s and women’s team practicing at the same boathouse, I didn’t actually know the guys well. They were all big, strong guys with set ways about their practices. But it was an amazing opportunity and as they say, from amazing opportunities coming amazing success. I took every practice day by day, learning their workout plans, working with the coach, Allison who was so patient, helping me get used to the team. Day by day I learned more, became more comfortable and got to know the guys outside of practices. Our very first regatta, a scrimmage, I panicked really badly, but the guys stuck with me, keeping me focused and part of that team atmosphere  on race days. Each subsequent regatta was so much more amazing, more laughs, more wins, more of our hard work being put to the test. It was always about being better than the day before, reaching for that height of teamwork, hard work and trust on the water.

I think I now know what crew is, it’s much more than that definition at the top, it’s indescribable. I haven’t met and I doubt I will many another group of hard-working, team, derpy, fun, strong people. It hasn’t even been a week and I’m having crew withdrawals. The intense fitness, early hours, long bus rides and music loving nature of crew has led us to many good times and many times where our team has been there to pick us up. Thanks 2014 Crew Season for being amazing, I can’t wait until next year!

Team Photo