My interest in becoming a student-athlete started when I became serious about rowing. I tried other endurance sports like cross country and cycling, but rowing was not available in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri. I was introduced to rowing when I tagged along at a learn-to-row camp with my older sister. We both enjoyed being on the water and when we returned home, added the erg to our workouts. That is where our paths diverged. The erg took the joy out of rowing for my sister, while it motivated me. I liked the discipline and measurable results on the erg. I started training virtually with a coach in Tulsa, Oklahoma to improve my technique. I prepared myself physically in anticipation of attending summer rowing camps following my sophomore year.
The pandemic shut down changed those plans. I made the best of the situation by transitioning to virtual school, which freed up time to increase my training and participate in the USRowing virtual summer camp. Without a team or rowing facilities in Springfield, I did not feel confident that I was becoming the best rower I could be. When my high school continued virtually in the fall, I decided to study remotely and looked to join a rowing program.
After speaking to the coaches at Sarasota Crew, I decided to move to Sarasota, FL this past January to join the team. Since then, I have begun sculling and sweep rowing and have been in a few races. In March, I also started training in a single with a college rower who has taken a gap year. The experience with the team has been incredible. The most important lesson was understanding the training and dedication necessary to excel as I implemented Coach Galvanek’s program into my school schedule. Additionally, although I am still new to the sport, the move to Sarasota has made me feel confident in my decision to pursue rowing as far as possible through college and after.
Academically, I am interested in continuing my education in music. Unlike rowing, music and vocal performance have been a part of my life for many years. I find many similarities between rowing and singing. The long hours put into practice culminate in a few minutes of actual competition. The attention to small details determines whether I will be successful in achieving my goals. The feeling of achieving success as a group, whether in a choir or an eight-man boat, is also very similar.
I plan to continue studying remotely in Sarasota for my senior year of high school and look forward to starting my college rowing career strong.