I’ve always considered myself a morning person, but waking up at 4:15 a.m. for rowing has given new meaning to that description. A teammate of mine once observed, “It is a rare and nutty person who will voluntarily wake before 5 a.m. to work with other nuts toward a common goal of excellence.”
We may be nutty, but I love every one of my teammates and the excellence we seek. I see our excellence from the way we try to maximize practice by launching our boats off the dock quickly, to our tongue-depressor name tags decorated with stars that honor each individual’s personal achievements.
The sport of crew is about making a boat go as fast as possible. Sometimes this means that we swap rowers around out on the water or videotape our rowing technique for review later, but primarily it is an existential experience involving stroke upon stroke of hard work. Don’t be fooled into thinking that we don’t find time to give thanks to God with our busy schedule.
Breakfast at Gwinn Commons is where our highly motivated group of rowers goes to unwind after practice. It’s not difficult to find us in Gwinn at 7:30 in the morning. We are the most awake and therefore the loudest people to be found for miles. It’s hard for me to say for sure what the future will bring, particularly when I spend my time traveling backward at high speed. But I do know that my teammates and I will be striving for our absolute best every morning as we chase the dawn.