by Abbey Robbins (College of Arts and Sciences '18)
I joined crew in high school simply because I was bad at everything else. I had tried softball, lacrosse and soccer but my lack of hand-eye coordination usually left me injured or embarrassed. I hadn’t tried rowing before, so I thought there was hope that maybe I wouldn’t be awful at it. So, with no knowledge of what I was getting into, I began rowing.
After some time on the high school team, I decided to join a local club team called the Blood Street Sculls (the lake we rowed on bordered a street named Blood Street, and “sculls” because we mainly raced sculling boats as opposed to sweeping). This team quickly became all-consuming as we traveled to different states for competitions, met with nutritionists, and found new and painful erg workouts to try.
When I made the decision to join NYU Crew, I didn’t know what to expect. Coming from Connecticut, crew is a very big deal and I wasn’t sure what the mentality of the team would be. It turned out to be exactly what I needed. The team is not only incredibly kind, but also the work ethic is inspiring. We may be a club team, but the level of effort I see from my teammates on a daily basis is honorable to say the least.
In my life, rowing has consistently helped me succeed. In high school, my crew team pushed me to set my sights high for college and to push myself in every facet of my life. In college, crew helps create balance and it relieves stress. Even though I’m tired 100% of the time and my quads are perpetually sore, I’m actually far more successful in the other aspects of my life because of it.
My former coach used to yell this one thing at me at the 500 meter mark of my 2k tests. He would say, “Just make the decision to go”. At first, I hated it: 2ks are not as simple as that. But eventually, it grew on me. There is something very liberating about doing something you don’t think you’re capable of. To this day, I use that quote as a motivator, especially when my alarm goes off and it’s time for crew practice. I make the decision to go.