Rowing for Latin made my high school experience. In my teammates, I found a community of people that developed from friends and acquaintances into family members. When you spend that much time with the same people, living your lives together day in and day out, the relationships developed are timeless. Hard work, discipline, finding strength I didn’t know I had- those were all lessons I learned from rowing, but none of them come close to the sense of belonging and life-long friendships that I found as a member on the team.
While it’s hard to imagine what my life would have been like if I had never been introduced to rowing at Boston Latin School, it’s very easy to list the ways that it has influenced my life for the better. As a coxswain on the rowing team, I quickly developed the confidence and decision-making skills necessary to successfully steer a 60 ft boat down the bustling Charles River. These strong leadership qualities not only led me to become a team-elected captain and Varsity 8+ coxswain at Duke University, but have been critical to my success in my post graduate endeavors as well. Additionally, participating in a women’s competitive athletic team in high school instilled an immense sense of self-worth, confidence, and respect for my peers that I am so grateful to have gained at this critical time in my development. I am constantly returning to these values of self-assurance as a female engineer in a predominantly male workplace.
I started crew when I was in 8th grade and remember being so intimated by the older girls the first few days. As the years went on the team became like a family to me; with it being such an intensive sport we all really grew to depend on each other for support both on and off the water. I learned a lot about teamwork and also self discipline, both which have stayed with me into my college career.
Dani Pezzuto & Caroline O'Shea
Crew changed our high school experience by introducing us to a group of welcoming and friendly people. On the team we learned valuable skills like teamwork, self-motivation, and positive leadership. BLS Crew also taught us the true meaning of what it means to be committed to something. Showing up to practice every day and knowing you are there for not only you, but the thirty other girls on the team taught us what true dedication is. Throughout our time on the team, we grew more confident as people, rowers, and leaders. Crew taught us so many things that we will carry with us into the future, and joining was the best decision we ever made!
Having the opportunity to be a part of the Boston Latin School Crew Team instilled in me a passion for teamwork, perseverance, and what it means to give it your all. It also allowed me to fall in love with a sport that I continue to participate in to this day, 12 years later. Following Boston Latin School, I coxed for the lightweight women at Harvard for 4 years and still race the Head of the Charles even after graduating.
It might seem dramatic, but being on the BLS crew team from 8th grade through graduation absolutely shaped the type of person I am today. In addition to determination to succeed, thanks to my ambitious coaches, crew gave me my first experience with passion and commitment. Being captain during my senior year gave me the confidence to pursue leadership positions. In college, this meant being president of my sorority, while in the work place, this has meant taking on any project, even if I am initially unsure I can do it.
Tori Cahill and Michelle Ng
One of the most meaningful parts of being on the BLS Crew Team is that every girl has to work together both physically and emotionally to succeed. On the water, we set the goals of synchronizing our strokes–using the click of the oarlocks to find a rhythm as a boat–and trusting each other to give 110% in order to cross that finish line together. On land, we set another goal: to engage in every activity and discussion–from silly team-building charades to serious pre-race meetings–with respect, understanding, and support. Looking back on our years on the team, we are incredibly grateful for its athletes, coaches, and parents, each of whom taught us important ingredients in the “recipe” for success: a positive mentality, self-motivation, a collaborative community, and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone. As much as we miss BLS Crew, we’re happy that we had the chance to be part of the family, and we’re confident that this team will continue to leave as lasting an impact on future members as it has on us.
If you were to have met me five years ago when I first started crew you would have met a quiet, easily discouraged, and confidence-lacking girl. I feel incredibly grateful to have been a part of a family that has not only given me the confidence and too much volume but has been the support system I needed to be surrounded by as I was developing into the woman I am today. On days where I wasn’t feeling my best or was stressed by external pressures, crew was always something I could look forward to. It was the one consistent things in my day to day life that I could always count on to brighten my day and give me an outlet to challenge myself and further develop as a person. I am so proud to have been a part of such a loving and driven group of people and can confidently say I would still be the same quiet girl if it wasn’t for BLS Crew. So much time and energy has been dedicated by each and every person on the team. The impact that these past years have had on me will certainly not fade and will be carried with me as I move on to the next era in my life.
Rowing on the BLS crew team, and the friends I made in the process, gave me an identity and the confidence necessary to get through high school. At 18 I learned what it really meant to work hard and sacrifice your time and your body to something bigger than yourself. I loved being on the BLS crew team, but it wasn’t until I left that I realized what a special group of strong, smart, unique women this team is made of. I know I owe my level of dedication, organization and empowerment to my participation on this team.
Being a part of the BLS crew team taught me to believe in myself. I started out as a chubby, unathletic 9th grader, in 4th boat, who only joined because the team had no cuts. I was always filled with negative thoughts that told me I would never improve. Over the course of the four years, I learned what it truly means to be a part of a team: being the best that you can be, not only for yourself, but more importantly, for those around you. I was continuously inspired by my teammates to become a better athlete, teammate and a leader. My senior year I was voted Captain and raced all season in 1st boat, something my 9th grade self could have never imagined possible. I am incredibly grateful for the confidence this team and sport has given me.
Mary Jane Crowley
The most powerful thing about rowing is its ability to show you the sheer magnitude of human potential, both on and off the water. There’s something about getting on the water, away from everything else that brings extreme focus and determination. Rowing is the best decision I ever made. I love that dirty water!
Rowing is a sport that changes lives.
It’s a sport that completely consumes you whether you want it to or not. And once you’re in, you find yourself inevitably wanting more and more from it. You find yourself constantly thinking and pushing yourself physically. Crew forces you to strive for your full potential, yet eventually it forces you to realize that there is no such thing as potential in life. There is always more to learn, more to refine. It teaches you that your limits are only temporary and your potential can only grow and grow. Along the way, you learn the value of goal setting. Of being able to have patience and work towards smaller successes. In the end, you appreciate what those things have amounted to. Looking back, you love the journey that took you there. It is this love for the journey and the appreciation of the end results that is what makes this sport so intoxicating. Ultimately, it is sharing this experience with your crewmates and the crew community that makes you yearn to do it all over again and to continue to grow in ways you could have never imagined.