Kaden LaJoie has discovered a welcoming community within the FHC crew team

Kaden (far right) standing with his teammates.

Kaden (far right) standing with his teammates.

To sophomore Kaden LaJoie, the feeling of being on the water, in a boat, with his crew team is simply unsurpassed by all the other joys the sport has to offer. 

“I just love being outside and being on the water,” Kaden said. “There’s just a really great community [within rowing].

Beyond the delight that accompanies the simplicity of the open water flowing beneath his boat, Kaden finds pride in the achievements of his team.

In a regatta last year, Kaden’s boat won both of their races and medaled first against three other schools. Successes like these bring his team together and unify them as a boat.

“Everybody [in the boat is] really close because you spend so much time together,” Kaden said. “Everybody is looking out for each other and caring about each other and you have a lot of fun [together].”

Everybody is looking out for each other and caring about each other and you have a lot of fun [together].”

— Kaden LaJoie

In crew, working as a unit is essential to perform well. Kaden practices four days a week, in addition to competing at regattas. 

A part of that practice is difficult workouts to stay in good condition for races. It takes resilience to persevere through strenuous activities, but having teammates go through the same thing makes it easier to bear. 

“Just being with my team [makes struggles and workouts easier],” Kaden said, “and especially [being with] my Coxen [helps] push us to work hard. Especially when you’re in the boat and you can’t stop rowing because your team is depending on you to keep the boat going.”

As all sports do, crew has its tough parts, but there are also shenanigans persisting behind the scenes. Once, a boat ran into the boat Kaden was on not once, but twice, causing it to be a memorable affair.

While Kaden loves rowing now, he didn’t start until this past season. Nonetheless, he has found an affinity for the sport ever since and plans to row in the upcoming spring season. There are countless ways to begin partaking in a sport, and for Kaden, it was through friends that were already involved.

“I have quite a few friends who love rowing and it seemed like a good community,” Kaden said. “[It seemed like] something that I could do, like it was a feasible option.”

The community Kaden has found within rowing is one of the main reasons he’s continued to participate in the sport. His team in general and not wanting to let them down keeps him motivated. Kaden shares that while rowing there are not different people, but rather one boat.

“[Rowing is] striving for excellence as a unit in every way,” Kaden said. “[Your boat is] trying to be well connected and you’re trying to know each other, but also be able to really work hard and be as strong as you can. [It’s also important to be] the best rower that you can so that you can be cohesive with the rest of your team.”