As the title signifies, this post is about how I joined my newly discovered passion. This post is also dedicated to a dear friend, for I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed.
Spring 2012: “You’re crazy for rowing 10,000 meters several times a week,” I thought as Crispin walked to the second floor of the school gym to use the rowing machine. He had been wanting to join crew for a while, a sport I had zero knowledge and interest about. I joined him once, and I rowed for a good five minutes before growing bored and tired with the repetitive motions.
He’s like, “Join crew dude” and I’m like, “Sodium Hypobromite (Na Bro)…”
Then summer came. Crispin and I kayaked at Lake Arrowhead, a hobby he had been exercising on a weekly basis to prepare himself for crew. Again, what was this business with crew? What did it have to offer me? I already lift weights at the gym, jump rope on a daily basis, and am content with my athleticism. Why would I even bother taking a look at it?
Then the fall semester began. While Crispin was still in San Jose, I went to Caltopia and went to the Cal Lightweight Crew table to inquire on his behalf. Teresa, with her colorful personality, flyer’ed me hard. “Want to join crew? You look like you’re in shape. Give crew a try!” I replied that I was only asking on a friend’s behalf, but she was persistent. “Take this flyer for yourself. What year are you? What’s your schedule like? Yea you have time! No better time than spending your senior year in crew!” I lightheartedly absorbed her friendly aggression and walked away, remaining uninterested in such unfamiliar matters.
Crispin, Teresa, and I. The middle one’s third wheeling it, STILL…
Then September 6th came. Crispin and I were hitting the gym, but he wanted to do so after the crew general meeting. Rather than wait at my apartment, I figured I had enough patience to sit through yet another club meeting. Crispin noticed my dichotomous feelings and urged me to join him. So I caved under the pressure and did so.
And we enter the completely-packed lecture hall. And we sit in the first row. Front row VIP seats. Joining us were Terisa (our friend/Crispin’s roommate) and Stephanie (a friend I studied abroad with who was interested in coxing).
And the presentation began. Anthony welcomed everyone and began the presentation. And, cot damn, was it a fine presentation. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish I could have run my first general meeting in my club this successfully – to be able to evoke such emotions in potential members with such a powerful demeanor is something to be proud of.”
The look of charisma.
My resting heart rate currently averages between 49-54 beats per minute. I don’t know what the level would have been at the time, but by mid-presentation, I was numb from excitement. My heart was racing from adrenaline, and it must have surpassed 100 bpm. I dreamt of rowing with Crispin (no homo – I realize I say that far too much) with Stephanie as our coxswain, and winning a race. As a senior. My last year at Berkeley. Why not?
And so I signed up for a learn-to-row day. Two mornings later, in lieu of falling asleep after turning off my alarm clock, I frantically put on basketball shorts and a shirt, grabbed a snack, and ran out the door at 8:00am for Kroeber Fountain. I arrived right as everyone was getting into cars to leave for the aquatic center.
And I was sold. Working out in the morning? Sounds good to me, as I already love exercising. On top of that, in ocean waters, where my heart belongs? Why the hell not? With at least two friends in Terisa and Crispin (Stephanie opted out due to a hefty workload)? Yea you got me.
I stumbled on crew at a moment’s notice. Had I not been dragged to the first general meeting, I don’t know what my life would be like right now. Had I slept through the learn-to-row day, I don’t know if I would have followed through from the initial momentum of the brilliant presentation.
The weather conditions we row in virtually every morning.
Yo, I love crew man. It’s something I look forward to every day. It’s a new addiction, albeit a completely positive one after extracting the physical injuries.
In fact, this is how much I love crew. Rather than talk about the aggregate experience I’ve had with it this semester, I dedicated an entire post to how I got involved. Subsequent posts will touch on more specific matters.