|Nichelle preparing to row a race. . .|
In my very first race, I didn’t have a single clue what I was doing. I called the start late, I steered out to starboard so far that the coxswain in the boat next to me had to wave her hand around so that I wouldn’t crash into her, and I kept rowing way past the finish line because I wasn’t totally sure where it was. But when we finally finished, my boat had done a great job, and we had proven ourselves as a team. Between their post-race breaths, the rowers in the boat complimented me, telling me that I had done a great job and thanking me for all my hard work. I couldn’t believe it. If anything, I should be thanking them for a nice ride down the river and for exerting themselves so extremely that their voices turned into raspy growls. Right then, I realized that I was as much motivation to them as they were to me; and from then on, we worked as a unit to be the best that we could.
In the time leading up to City Champs, there was a lot of stress. In the two and a half weeks between the races, there had been a horrible flood which shut down the boathouse for several days. Everyone was worrying about limited practice we had before the biggest race of the season. When we all met at the river the day of City Champs, the four rowers of my boat and I met to talk about how much this race meant to all of us. We were nervous, but we were one unit; knowing that the mental preparation was as important as the physical. As we approached the starting line of the qualifying round, I made the call to start. The rest of the race was a blur, but only one thing mattered when we finished: we made it!
~ Nichelle H. '15
|Members of GA's crew team pose post-race.|