October 20, 2009
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I remember seeing my first crew meet. Rows of muscular men, sitting closely together, were bobbing front, back, up, and down as they mechanically repeated their movement to get from point A to point B. It made no sense. A close friend kept on persuading me to join crew, and I finally gave in, telling myself that it would make me get into shape.
The first time my paddle broke Lake Maxinkuckee’s serenity, scales fell off my eyes. Yes, endurance and strength is the heart of the sport, but crew was also a sport of strategy, science, and cooperation. Depending on environmental conditions, the coxswain (person in the front) directs the best stroke rate and communicates it to the strokeman who acts as the rhythm keeper. The middlemen are the boat’s horsepower, and the bowman (person at the end) is a technical rower who stabilizes and controls the direction of the boat. Coaches plan strategy such as the point where the boat should sprint. In crew, everyone acts together and independently at the same time.

Crew was one of the many incidents in my life that taught me not to make presumptions. Crew is special because it physically keeps me reminded of the bias I once had. It keeps my mind and body to always be ready to try new things.

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