Annapolis Junior Rowing: a Glimpse
by Claudia Decker '21
Although many of you may not realize it, Severn is full of rowers. All of whom row for the same club, Annapolis Junior Rowing. Our club is one of the many along the east coast. Us rowers constantly strive to attract more people to our sport, as well as to inform others of the unique nature of the sport. Rowing is unlike any sport I have ever seen; the mental and physical strength needed beats that of swimming and soccer combined, at least in my experience.
What exactly is the difference between rowing and other sports? All sports require a physical push, but what makes us rowers so unique? To figure this out, I asked a few of my rowing friends some questions such as what the most important characteristic of a rower is, their favorite part of the sport, and what makes it so hard.
When I asked what they think the most important part of being a rower is, every single one of them responded with determination. One can have great form and insane power, but none of this matters if one cannot push him or herself. In rowing, there are no substitutes, no breaks, no stopping for even a single stroke until you are done your piece. A rower has to dig down deep inside of themselves or “scrape the bottom of the barrel”, as my coach likes to say, to really perform their best. To be a successful rower, you have to be able to stay in time with the rest of your crew even when you want to slow down. You have to be able to keep pulling your hardest even when you don’t want to because your crew can’t succeed without everybody’s individual effort.
Another important question I asked my crew was, “What is the best part of rowing?”. Once again, everyone on my team said the same thing: the friendships. This is what I find to be the true value of rowing. In many other sports, you can have one person who stands out among the rest. In rowing, however, there are no such stars. Every rower is considered equal. An entire boat is considered one unit. You cannot work without each other because synchronization is the sole basis of the sport, as well as trust. One cannot row their best without trusting their teammates to do the same. With this, comes more confidence in each other than in most sports. And with this balance of trust between the whole crew, the best relationships form.
On top of all of the previously listed great things about rowing, the sport itself is also incredibly beautiful. Rowing on rivers in varying states along the east such as Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Tennessee, is by far one of the most rewarding parts of the sport.
Despite the many difficult aspects of rowing, largely, the sport itself is incredibly rewarding when it comes to all properties of life. The mental challenges you have to overcome in this sport can be applied to a variety of life experiences, and the relationships that are formed are nothing short of the best ones you could possibly make. I hope after reading this, more of you understand the great sport of rowing, and why its popularity is ever growing. If you do have any interest in the sport, there are many rowers in school, including me, that would be happy to answer any more questions you may have.