Why I Row

FC Crew members answer the question, “Why Do You Row?” 

Why do I row?
I row for the feeling of 8 moving as one single, powerful entity.
I row for the other 7 girls in my boat, who I know without a doubt want to succeed and do everything in their power to achieve our collective goal.
I row for myself, proving that I can go longer and more powerfully than the day before.

I row for the Band of Brothers. I think I can say unequivocally that we all do. That's (part of) what makes us good. That's why our ragtag outfit is a serious contender. We are more than just a team.  

I row for the devotion that I have to every member of this team. As a cox I saw, and now as a rower I am experiencing the pain and anguish that all of you endured. I row for the closest friends I've ever had and probably ever will. I row for the coach of a lifetime. I row because rowing is a part of me.

I row because you not only get to know the coolest people, but it the actual rowing is indescribable.  I love the sport!

I started rowing because I knew it would keep me in shape, and because I just needed something to do after school. But I think everyone quickly learns that the real reason why they continue to row is because of the bonds you make with your teammates, and the pride you feel for being part of such an amazing team.

Although I cox and am not a rower, I do crew because it is such an amazing, fun, and unique activity.  What other sport lets you go out on the water everyday?  It is also great to be a part of such an awesome team.

I row for the Band of Brothers, for the ability to have 30+ teenage boys who most likely without rowing would not be friends, yet have that group of boys push each other past what they thought was possible, be it physically, mentally, and for some of us, socially.

I row for that feeling of crossing the finish line and knowing that all nine people sitting in that boat have done everything they could over the past months, and for some years, to move with grace, power, and speed down a course. And when you cross the line, win or lose, you are satisfied for you all have done your best and competed with people who are now your brothers, who you have forged a bond with that is not easily broken. 

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”

And obviously there would be no bond, no band with out a group of mentors we call coaches to teach and guide us with their knowledge and genuine excitement about our sport.

The bonds made are amazing. Rowing can and will cause your best and worst moments. In these moments a person can often be defined.

Rowing has become more than a sport for me, almost a society.  I guess that’s why we are called a cult.  Last year I was intimidated by that, but now I see why it truly is amazing how much like a platoon of soldiers or just a bunch of brothers we are.  None of us could have gone as far as we have gone in our rowing careers if it wasn’t for the constant camaraderie and support we get from each other. That is why I row.

I row because it gives me a sense of belonging. Our team has let me be a part of it for four years and I am confident in saying that during these four years, it has been a part of me. Winning on your own isn’t half as challenging as collaborating together as a whole to overcome all competition. I live for the jokes, I live for Midwests, I live for my sisters, without whom I would be nothing.

Rowing is a great way to get away from all the stress that might have built up from the previous day.  You can just leave all your worries and concerns on land, and have a fresh head once you come back from the water.

I row because it gives me a sense of pride. I know I'm involved in a demanding and different sport that requires nine people to work together to make one object move. I row for FC because I know I'll never find another group of kids and parents with this much compassion for one team.

For me it is a little different.  Yes I row for my teammates knowing that they are pushing themselves just as hard as I am, each one of us collectively pushing towards one goal. But my reason for rowing is much simpler than that.  I row to win. Unless I cross that finish line first something has gone wrong. I had not trained hard enough four months ago, was still conscious when the race was over, or had not given my all in practice the week before. All the silver medals I have are reminders to me of ways I failed in some way.  Is this the wrong attitude?  Probably, but we all have our own personal reasons. I love rowing because it gives me the opportunity to win.  I was never the biggest or the strongest, but rowing allows those who are otherwise “athletically challenged” to compete on the same level as every one else. And that’s why I row.

I really can't think of anything I would rather be doing than spending time in a boat with my teammates. Besides loving the actual sport of rowing, there is nothing like the camaraderie of the Fox Chapel team. Since you are literally in the same boat as eight other girls, you form a bond of trust and respect that will never be broken.

I row because there is no feeling like winning a race. There is nothing that I have ever experienced that can hold a candle to the surge of joy and accomplishment that runs through my veins as we cross the finish line. This is the only sport I have ever participated in that gives me that feeling.  Even if we don't win, if the race is rowed to its maximum potential, I feel amazing.

I row to row, to have the feeling of accomplishment, to keep in shape, and most of all for the atmosphere related to rowing that Fox Chapel Crew has made for all of us.

 For more information, contact Head Coach Mark Bellinger at: mfbellinger@gmail.com