I would like to talk about an important part of my life at LSE: Rowing. Yes, I have realized that I didn’t even put that I was in the rowing team in my profile blog, and I should feel ashamed that I didn’t as it is what I do half of my time at LSE. Many of you probably have all these stereotypes about rowing: it’s only for guys and after a couple of months you look like anrold schwarzeneger. Fortunately these stereotypes are totally untrue! Rowing is a sport that has a boys and a girls team, and no you do not get bulked up. Professional lightweight rowers are thin, muscled and tall.
At first, I wanted to join the rowing club because it offered everything I wanted:
- Keeping fit. Rowing offers a lot of training that does not only include being on the boat, but also circuits, ergometers (gym rowing machines), running, and tank sessions (rowing in a kind of swimming pool) and instead of doing that by yourself at the gym, you do it with your crew mates
- Being challenged! Because rowing isn’t about just going to training, doing what you’re told to do, and going back home. It’s about learning every single day something new, and trying to get better and better technique wise. That’s the hardest part, the one where you have to keep motivated and fight against yourself. The challenge isn’t just about you though, it’s about having high competition between each other member of the rowing club.
- Being part of a team. Believe it or not, rowing is a sport where you are not alone. You are part of a crew of eight or more people that each have different seat positions on the boat and have to keep united to perform well. Team bonding is usually quickly installed after a while, and consequently you will soon realize that your teammates are your best buddies at LSE.
- Having a social life. Being part of the rowing team means being a member of the Athletics Union. As you might have read a couple of other posts about it during the year, AU holds every Wednesday an only-sports night out: drinks at LSE and a trip to our beloved Zoo Bar. You get to meet other people from other clubs. Also, the rowing club has their own team dinners and many other events only for rowing members.
Yes, rowing is tough, I have to completely agree on that. This year the novice crews (boys and girls) have been training at least five times per week since Lent Term to get fit for competing in the Toulouse regatta called Supaerowing. Hard workers in rowing are rewarded by having a seat on the boat. You actually have to deserve your seat on the boat, and even if you had the chance to sit once, this doesn’t mean that you will sit in the boat every single time.
I know what you’re thinking: too much commitment, too much work, not enough time for all this, especially if you’re a postgraduate student. My answer to this is: yes it’s tough to balance your rowing life and your study life, but it is totally worth it. As a captain, I had to juggle with my student life – a typical postgraduate that has many deadlines, essay submissions, group meetings, readings, etc. – and my rowing life – going to training every day, meeting up with my crew, having social events to keep the team spirit up, and trying to organize everything that concerns my crew. But rowing helps you to push yourself to the next level, to learn to not give up, to install a healthy way of life (eating a sportsdiet and exercising everyday), and frankly it’s a good break from student life routine. With rowing, you won’t get lazy: you wake up early in the morning, go to one hour training approximately, shower, have breakfast and your day is set for studying!
If you think that you are made for this kind of sport, then please don’t hesitate and join the LSE Rowing Club. It filled in my year and made it even better. If I had the chance to stay at LSE next year I would gladly join the rowing team again and again.
Lots of rowing love,