To My Team:

To those of you who I don’t talk to every day, and to those of you who I spend most nights with, in Blanch laughing about something that we won’t remember tomorrow. I am writing to you because you’ve been on my mind. I want to write to you to say thank you. I want to write to those of you who spend your Sundays in the lab and those of you who don’t know where “The Lab” even is. To those of you who I know your middle names and to those of you who did winter training on your own because the times didn’t line up for your schedule. To those of you who had never seen snow before, and to those of you who have never been to the West Coast. This is to those of you who know exactly how you are going to make a difference in the world, this is to those of you who forgot to go to class this morning, and this is to those of you who wake up every day with a new passion and a new interest.

I want to say thank you. I want to say thank you for being my family away from home. Thank you for turning my music up when I am in the middle of a piece, thank you for turning my music down when it sounds like it is about to break the speakers. Thank you for waving to me on your way to your 10am class, and for letting me sit beside you in an auditorium full of people I don’t know. Thank you for pulling up an extra chair when there seems to be nowhere else to sit, thank you for picking up my fork when I drop it on the ground and the broken part of my mug when I drop my dishes on the floor. Thank you for smiling in this sea of students, thank you for standing and talking to me when I was by myself. Thank you for being a familiar face, no matter if it is in the library, in the classroom, or in the erg room. Thank you for listening to my stories and telling me yours, thank you for asking if I’m okay on days that I am not. Thank you for also hating 5am just as much as I do every day and thank you for still getting out of bed and rowing with me. Thank you for sharing the pain, and the ache in our legs from day to day to day to day. Today, we will be better then we were before. Thank you for sharing in our triumphs, the moments that make the pain worth it.

There is no other group of individuals who I would rather stand in a uni with on an overcast day in October. Please never change the way that you smile when the wind breaks and we get to go out on the water, or the way that you high-five your teammates after a hard piece. Hold onto yourself and the people in the seat in front and in back of you because they’ve got you. They’ve got you on their minds in the third five hundred, and they are the ones who turn to you and smile when you get to watch the sunrise over the Connecticut River every morning together. Shout their name in the gym when they lift more then you and acknowledge them even when they just show up. They are there for you just like you are there for them. They might not know it right now but someday they will. Someday they will be in the last two-fifty of a race and they will realize why they do this. All of this. It’s for you.

Love,

Your Team