Jack Woods’ love of the water has helped his outlook on life

Junior Jack Woods will do anything to spend time on the water. 

During his years in middle school, he attended the summer camp directed at the middle schoolers who have a potential interest in the crew team when they make it to high school. Because of those camps, the crew team has a large amount of interest since the camp teaches the basics of the sport and allows them to get into the boat and experience it, even for just two weeks. 

“I did [the camp] for a few years,” Jack said, “and I got to know some of the members of the team really well. That made it the obvious choice for when I started high school.”

Despite how effortless rowing appears while the team paddles through the water, the sport is very physically challenging since perfection and every crew member’s stroke needs to be in the exact rhythm as the rest of the boat. 

“Everything has to be perfectly in time,” Jack said. “It’s like trying to get eight guys to hit a golf ball off of a rolling log all at the same time with the same pressure, but that’s what makes it so enjoyable; when you get that just right, it’s amazing.”

For Jack, crew has found ways to influence his life outside of just rowing. His coach tells the team a saying that has found a way to stick to Jack in everyday life. The saying “life isn’t about rowing but rowing is about life,” has allowed Jack to reflect on his outlook on life. 

“If you’re tired and in the middle of a race, you can’t just stop,” Jack said. “You’ve got to just keep pushing. I think it’s helped me become more of a diligent person. I’m much more perseverant now.”

I don’t know [where I’ll end up in life], I’m just gonna see where the wind blows and see where I end up; I don’t care really where it is as long as I’m happy.

— Jack Woods

His life on the water doesn’t end with crew; Jack enjoys sailing with his father. The unique past time started with his father becoming involved with sailing when he moved to Connecticut after college. 

“Sailing is like religion out there,” Jack said, “so my dad took it up, and he loved it because he and his family grew up around boats, and he really got me into sailing.”

Jack’s interests also go beyond being on the water. He is a part of the Student Advisory Council at FHC. When Jack saw an announcement on FX advertising the group, he saw his chance to make a difference in his school and bring his concerns straight to a group that would have similar feelings. 

After he sent in his application—not expecting to be accepted—he and a handful of other students were chosen to represent the FHC student body to administrators. They and other students from Northern and Eastern, join a Zoom meeting and discuss a wide range of topics that concern the student body. 

Usually, the meetings involve Superintendent Dan Behm and occasionally other guests. 

“I think [the Commitee] is really valuable because I have the chance to get my thoughts directly to Mr. Behm’s ears,” Jack said. “It’s good to represent other people and help make sure that issues from a wider range of people are heard.” 

Another interest of Jack’s is one subject typically feared by many students: math. For his senior year, Jack has signed up for four different math classes. Many teenagers would never take on this challenge, but Jack is ready to face this experience head-on. 

With his love of math being too prevalent, Jack hopes to have a future career involving math or even engineering.

He would love to attend a university somewhere on the East Coast, but would most likely apply to the University of Michigan or Michigan Tech. Although Jack has some tenuous plans, he hasn’t set any ideas in stone.

College and rowing come hand-in-hand; being a vital member of the crew team has taught Jack better ways to view life and more specifically, his future. 

“I don’t know [where I’ll end up in life], I’m just gonna see where the wind blows and see where I end up; I don’t care really where it is as long as I’m happy,” Jack said.