7 Reasons Why You Should Try Rowing

7 Reasons Why You Should Try Rowing

Seven reasons why anyone who needs or wants to do a sport should check out crew.
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Rowing, I find, is a very underappreciated sport that most people don't know much about. So let's start out by defining what rowing is. Before I began rowing myself, the image that popped into my head when I heard "rowing" or "Crew", was, at best, a bunch of huge guys in a boat rowing a their butts off while someone sat in the front yelling "stroke!" every second or so. At worst, the image that popped up was just some salty old fisherman in a rowboat. I assume that most people, especially those of us in towns without school-organized rowing teams, think of rowing and think of these images. So let's set the record straight:

Rowing, or crew as it's sometimes known, involves a number of people, from one to eight, performing the rowing motion in sync. There are two types of rowing: sculling, where each person has two oars, involving boats that seat one, two, and four people; and sweeping, where each person has one oar, involving boats that seat two, four, and eight people. Sometimes a boat may have a cox (you're allowed to giggle), who, instead of rowing, steers the boat and directs those who are rowing. In boats without a cox, bow seat (the seat furthest to the front) does the cox's job. It is much more common for sweeping boats to have a cox than it is for sculling boats, and eights always have coxes.

As for the motion of rowing, here's a GIF to demonstrate:


Not how you pictured it right? I was certainly surprised when I found out what it actually looked like. Ideally, this is what rowing is, but this guy is a beast who makes it look easy, so novices shouldn't expect to look like this immediately.

So now you know a little bit about the sport of crew. But why should you look into rowing? Well to start out:

1. You get fit AF

Check out the thighs and arms on these guys. Granted, they just won the gold medal at the London Olympics, but even for a novice, rowing is an excellent workout for most major muscles and muscle groups, as well as being some of the best cardio you can get. Add in that a typical competitive team practices for at least two hours four times a week, and you have a recipe for burning some serious calories and building some serious muscle.

2. It builds character



Rowing has changed my outlook on life in more ways than I can count, and I know many rowers who say the same thing. I am a harder worker, a better teammate, and a more stable person than I was two years ago, before I started rowing. At the risk of sounding cheesy, crew has made me who I am today.

3. Height/weight/body type will not decide if you are good or not

OK, so this might be a little untrue. It is generally true that tall, slim people dominate the upper echelons of rowing (just watch the Olympics or the world championships). However, it is effort, not shape or size, that decides how good of a rower you are in the end. I have won races against boats with people twice the size of my teammates, and I have lost to people smaller than I am (I'm about 5'9). I'm not saying you can be 5'2 and win every race if you practice more: I'm saying that it is possible to be 5'2 and win, and that you can be 5'2 and still have a great time. Also, for you really tiny, really light people, you can become a cox, and believe me, coxes are at least as respected as anyone who pulls on an oar.

4. You can chose how you row

Not much of a teammate? Row a single! Love the dynamic and intimacy of tennis pairs or synchronized diving? Row a double or a pair! Like being part of something big, and getting to know four to nine people? Row a quad, a four, or an eight! There is a boat for every kind of person, unless of course, you're the kind of person who doesn't like rowing.

5. You get to attend regattas


OK, I should probably explain this picture before I say anything else. If you win with a cox, its customary for rowers to throw the cox off the dock after you get off the water. Just one of the many fun things that can happen at regattas, the rowing equivalent of a track meet. There are vendors selling various cool rowing related items, teams from the surrounding towns and states, and usually plenty of good food. However, you are there to race. While it can be nerve-wracking waiting to race and disappointing if you lose, the fun usually outweighs the negative aspect. Plus, there's always a chance that you come home with a shiny new medal...

6. Colleges LOVE rowers

Its possible to get into some very good schools off of a rowing scholarship, as the above picture demonstrates. Because rowing is a sport most people start in college, rowers who are already experienced when they get to college are very valuable. If you're ambitious and talented, you can get recruited into legendary programs with ancient rivalries and storied coaches. Even if you don't end up getting recruited, or if you don't plan on rowing in college, rowing looks great on your transcript.

7. You make friends. REALLY good friends

When you join a club team or a rowing team, you get to know your teammates and coaches very well. After all, you might be spending 12 hours a week with these people. But by the end of the season, when all is said and done, your teammates, those you are in the boat with especially, are some of you closest friends. This fall season, I'm rowing in a quad, and although we've only competed in one race so far, we're already super close. In rowing, you can join for any number of reasons, but you stay for your team.

I row at Nereid Boat Club on the Passaic River in Rutherford.

Cover Image Credit: Clinton Rowing Club

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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.
Sam
Sam
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I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam
Sam
Sam

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There's A Double Standard Between Male and Female Athletes In Professional Sports

Women get the short end.

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Take for example the most recent World Cup winners Germany and the USA. The 2014 Men's World Cup champions took home 35 million dollars in prize money. The 2015 Women's World Cup champions took home a measly 2 million in comparison to their male counterparts. Why is it that FIFA only paid six percent of what they paid the men?

This is only one of the many problems facing women's sports.

Their own federation United States soccer does this to them as well. The women are not paid equally. One could argue that they should make more. The US Women's team has won three World Cups. Meanwhile, the US Men have not won a single World Cup. Not to mention, they did not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The women have to win their games to be paid. The men can lose and still get paid.

Another problem in women's sports is the treatment they receive in the media. Hope Solo a former standout had her contract terminated after she made remarks following a match. In reference to playing the Sweden women's team, "we played a bunch of cowards the best team did not win." These comments came after a loss in the 2016 Olympics.

US Soccer wasted no time and Hope Solo found herself unemployed. Obviously, this was in the heat of the moment. She was also being asked to describe her feelings. Take recent comments made by Cristiano Ronaldo regarding Portugal's loss to Uruguay. "We played better than Uruguay." Why has he not been fired? He basically said the same exact thing.

The truth is that women athletes are still expected to live up to gender roles. Women are supposed to be quiet and polite. Men are allowed to be mean and nasty. This is also on display in tennis. Serena Williams is constantly attacked by the media. Particularly because of how outspoken she is. If you have ever watched a tennis match you know some athletes throw tantrums Where were all angry fans when John McEnroe was not having any respect for the rules. Instead, he was applauded for his outbursts.

Boys will be boys. No boys will be men and take responsibility for their own actions.

Jamseis Winston is an example of how men are let off the hook. In college, FSU and his team of lawyers got him off the hook for the rape of a student. Winston has found himself in trouble once more most recently for groping an Uber driver. We cannot allow this to continue.

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