great csr page banner

Don't Forget Why You Started

The night before our last race of the season last year, our coach sat us down, looked at us one by one, and asked us to remember why we even started rowing in the first place. He said that tomorrow was going to be a tough race, no doubt about it, but that extra fuel we would need to finish could only come from deep within us. In order to finish - finish the race, finish the season off right - we had to remember why we started.

As we went around the room, it was clear that we all decided to start rowing for our own unique reasons. Some wanted to try it because they had friends who were rowers in high school, some wanted a fun way to workout in college, and some wanted to prove those wrong who said they would never be able to do it.

It was that night, the night before the most important race of the season, that I truly experienced just how powerful it is to have passion for your sport.

With a sport like rowing, it is easy to get lost in the question, “what is this all for?” Early morning practices, long intense pieces on the erg and water, and a season that seems to never really end - all for a race that lasts less than 10 minutes.

But hearing my teammates share their own journeys with rowing, and go back to the start of our experiences together from their point of view, really put things into perspective for me. Though we may have started for different reasons, the reason we stayed was the same. And that was because of each other.

After that conversation with our coach, we all left the room feeling more powerful than we had ever been.

After that conversation with our coach, we all left the room feeling more powerful than we had ever been. Our whole season was built on becoming stronger together, finding that groove in the boat that would make us fly all the while building relationships as loyal teammates and friends. Knowing that everyone truly had each other’s backs for the race in the morning was all the encouragement we needed to give it our all and leave everything out on the water. Actually succeeding at this and crossing the finish line first in our heat the next day was just icing on the top of an already amazing season.

I wanted to share this story because it marked a clear turning point in my career as an athlete. Whatever your sport is, whenever you decided to join, you did join for a reason. While those reasons may be different, I ask you to think back on them when the going gets tough, or when you need to be reminded of why the heck you still show up. If you decide to share those reasons with your fellow teammates (which I encourage and hope you do), I guarantee you’ll feel stronger for it.