What I Miss About Collegiate Rowing by Lizzy Youngling

For most collegiate rowers who “hang up their oars” after graduation comes freedom. With re-tirement, you can catch up on your sleep, have fun with your friends whenever you want, and never have to worry about that upcoming erg test. While most revel in this new found freedom, nostalgia begins to set in. Although there are many aspects of collegiate rowing that aren't the most glamorous, there are those small windows in time that make it all worth it. From traveling across the country, to the early wake-up calls, check out the things I’ll miss most about college rowing.

1. My Teammates

Teammates are the bread and butter of college rowing. You’re with them everyday, 24/7 and at most meals. Even though we needed our space from time to time, teammates are the ones who make practice fun and enjoyable. As the backbone of the rowing team, they’re what you’ll miss most once you graduate from college.

2. The Athlete Community

Joining an athletic team means you’re automatically accepted into the athletic community. All athletes are like-minded—they’re competitive and passionate about their sport. Being sur-rounded by not only the rowing team, but all other sporting teams, makes you appreciate the skills behind other sports. At most schools, the athletic community is very strong and are there for whatever you need.

3. Early wake-ups

It may sound crazy, but the 5am wake-ups calls will be missed. In the moment, shutting off the alarm and going back to sleep was my biggest desire, but knowing you’ve accomplished more than the average student before 8am, supercharged my day. Sometimes a 2pm nap was in or-der, but feeling accomplished so early in the day is an awesome feeling.

4. My Coaches

Everyone has a different experience with coaches—some are hands-off, and some really like to connect with their team. Coaches teach you about communication, handwork, and dedication throughout your four years of college—key traits that are transferrable to post-grad life. Not only do coaches teach you how to perfect the rowing stroke, but they also teach you a lot about your-self.

5. Adventures

Although rowers don’t travel as much as baseball players or basketball players, we always looked forward to changing up the waters and performing our best on competition day. Not only was traveling fun as a team, but it gave you a break from your everyday life at school. Having the opportunity to visit other prestigious universities and their athletic facilities was an amazing experience.

What will you miss about collegiate rowing? Checkout EngineRm’s new “Test Your Grit” series where retired collegiate rowers come together and re-ignite their passion for the rowing ma-chine!


EngineRm Rowing
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