It’s a love-hate relationship


fhc crew

My whole crew team from fall season after a regatta-I had just won my first race

I have a love-hate relationship with crew.

I hate it when I’m not there. If I’m not at practice, I will complain until I have no voice about how awful it is, how sore I am, and so on. I hate the idea of rowing. I hate the idea of freezing my butt off. I hate the idea of sweating buckets because I’m working so hard.

When I’m at practice, I love it. There is nothing better than when the sun is shining and there’s a cool breeze but the water is calm. It’s the best feeling. I love the cold, I love the heat, and I love rowing.

When I’m doing it, I love it, but when I’m not, I hate it.

A big part of me loving it is my team. If I didn’t have the team I do, I would quit. I love the girls because they are always so kind, funny, and uplifting. Sometimes we get frustrated with one another, like when someone is out of time, but in the end, we still lift each other up.

Even if I don’t care about the win that much, somebody else on my boat does, and that’s enough to keep pushing.

— Alex Smith

We enjoy talking about when the coaches tell us what we’re doing wrong. Obviously, the coaches are right—they know what they’re talking about—but in the moment, there is nothing more frustrating than when your coach is telling you you’re wrong over and over again.

We pretend like the coaches are wrong and we’re doing everything right, but in the end, we get better, and that’s all that matters.

There are things I actually do hate about crew, like carrying the boats. We have to carry boats over our heads that weigh around 200 pounds, and if you’re tall, you get a lot of that weight. I hate carrying boats. It’s all worth it when I’m on the water though.

I also hate when it rains. The dock always gets slippery, so we have to walk really slowly so we don’t fall. The water is usually more choppy when it’s raining, so a lot of water gets into the boat and on the rowers. It is also windy, meaning that when we are going in one direction, there is wind and rain blowing into our faces making it cold, miserable, and hard to see.

There are upsides though. The biggest upside for me are the regattas—the races. During the spring season, we have a lot of regattas. Like, a lot. In the fall, we have four.

I usually row twice at regattas. In between, I get to sleep, eat, and help hand out oars. Regattas are very fun because we get to compete, and it’s even better when we win. I’ve won one race, and it was an amazing feeling. At that moment, I realized that no matter how much I hate crew sometimes, working for that win is always going to be worth it. Even if I don’t care about the win that much, somebody else on my boat does, and that’s enough to keep pushing.

For everything I hate about crew, I love it ten times more. It will always be worth it for me and my boat to win because that feeling will always be there.