You have no idea how many memories came flooding back when I came across this video on Nowness. It feels so nostalgic talking about CREW now. Despite being no longer on the team after fall season of college, I still have a very soft spot for the sport. The boarding school I attended really pushed everybody to join any kind of team sport, so for a while, I tried out many things including Track & Field (god knows why when I can't run well), Tennis, Snowboarding and even Volleyball (don't ask). I was miserable in every sport I tried and grew frustrated of getting yelled by the coach every time. So when junior year rolled around, I felt that high school was ending quickly and I should make the best of whatever little time I had left. I looked through many sports flyers the school tacked up everywhere in the beginning of the school year and thought I had found "it" when I signed up for crew tryouts. This was a sport that requires a large body of water, boats, oars and so many other gears I thought this would be impossible to do in Hong Kong.
For the first time, I didn't suck. There is so much relief in being able to saying that. I spent the first fall season as a novice and spent the winter season getting super fit. I was just trying to get in the best shape possible and try my very best. I didn't have goals or hopes at all of winning anything. Little did I know when spring season rolled around, I would be assigned seat six of "the engine room" in the women's varsity boat. Also, I was grouped into the lightweight boat at seat three, so I ended up learning to row port and starboard at the same time. There is little opportunity to bond with people and learn how to be a team player in the classroom, so I owe it all to crew. It has taught me so much more than just good sportsmanship, rather how to always put your best foot forward always, learn to look out for and love your teammates, be responsible and most important, to be on time. Of course the best thing in crew was not just the adrenaline rush in the last power twenty to the finish line, but most of all fellow rowers rowing in front and behind of you, the yelling coxswain in the stern, and the rest of the team standing on the shore cheering you on. Through playing the sport, I have meet some of the smartest, funniest, cheerful, warm people I have ever met in high school, as well as new best friends and a high school crush from another school, hee.
I like to think that it was because of this sport that I got into Trad/Ivy style. I am so glad that there is such an interest in American preppy wear and classical styles that this often overlooked sport is getting its share of the limelight again. I was overwhelmingly gratified to see it featured in Take Ivy and mainstream blockbusters such as The Social Network. It is sad to note then, that I had to quit the sport after my first semester. It was simply way too much for me because my coach in college immediately put me in the varsity roster with no time and little room to adjust to the faster pace. Moreover since I attended such a small school, we were only NCAA division III and there was no differentiation between lightweights and openweights. I made for a decent lightweight rower but I don't stand a chance against college teammates were fifty pounds heavier and inches taller. In fact I was only marginally bigger than the coxswain, which was a first. I had no life whatsoever outside of academics and the sport, and had no opportunities to really take the time to find my place in new surroundings. Sure it was fun to be able to see my high school friends at the Head of the Charles, but I really had no die hard desire to be in the nationals. It is a pity that I have to end on such a bittersweet note, but I still love the sport very much and attend regattas when I can to support my schoolmates. The best memory of college thus far after all was the relaxing row down the Connecticut River all the way to Mt. Holyoke, bathed in the soft light of the sunrise. Hopefully in the future I can save up for my own little boat and go rowing with friends then. I apologize for the lack of actual fashion posts but I promise I'll get to them very soon.
I now listen to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" every time I'm on the erg