Open Letter to New Rowers

Dear New Rowers,

Thank you for starting this wonderful sport. Unlike other people, you are a real athlete. “Real athletes row, others just play games.” If you started the sport just out of curiosity–as most people do, you aren’t the only one. It takes every kind of toughness to excel at this sport, but not a whole lot of “talent”. So even if you are good with your hands or great with your feet, don’t think for a second you are ahead.

I started just because the sport sounded cool but most people don’t understand that it is a lot more difficult than it looks. When you first hop into a boat, rowing will be a huge struggle: staying in time, crashing the slide, getting fatigued, missing water, catching crabs (getting your oar under someone else’s). Not only that, but you have to deal with the toughness of rowing itself. To be honest it’s a very poor reward for not screwing up anything else in the first place.

The sport itself mostly focuses on toughness itself: mental, physical, emotional. Being tough is key, controlling (or unleashing in the first place) your killer instinct so that the boat goes along fluidly shows emotional strength; pulling with all your might and never faltering or missing a beat shows mental strength; and obviously the boat won’t pull itself, so you need to be physically strong to actually move the boat in the first place.

It is important to not be discouraged by these dreadful odds; “Confidence is key” really comes into play here. The rower most willing to put their best foot forward regardless of the crazy conditions is most often the faster one. The sport requires talent though: “…Because part of what we talk about is, toughness is a talent.”- Dan Quinn.  

I Hate States’ Regatta

This weekend was literally the worst weekend I have ever had.

It all started at 5:10 Friday morning…I was rowing boats down for the regatta. It all started when I woke up around 5:00 to have a shower. After my shower I made the mistake of not drying my hair and was cold all the way to TRC. When my carpool arrived there, I thought my friend and I were supposed to row a double down to festival beach—little did I know we’d be rowing racer singles down. As I hopped in my racer I was having a wonderful row until I finally found the dock. I was nearing the dock but at the last moment my oar popped out of its oarlock. Because of this incident my entire boat lurched and flipped over. My phone was broken due to water damage (which by the way is not covered by Apple Care+) and I lost my jacket and shoes in Lady Bird Lake. All I can say is it was so much fun…

I’m debating whether or not I should make this a three part series. If I do I can make a part for everyday because they all sucked equally. I’m honestly just glad the weekend is over; looking forward to a new week at school and writing the next part of this story.

 

Compassion

Compassion has the capacity to change lives; last summer I tried to become an example of that.

Over the summer I changed people’s lives with compassion by donating old clothes and cooking meals for the homeless. In total I volunteered over 30 hours, making meals and sorting clothes. Because of my service, I felt absolutely amazing. I felt as though my grasp on how privileged I am seemed to tighten. Finding that gratification for the things I had helped me find humility. I encourage anyone to participate in any kind of service they can make time for.

Because of service I learned caring about myself shouldn’t always be my priority. Being a little selfless gives a larger satisfaction than always thinking about the next thing you can buy for yourself. Showing compassion to someone else will replicate the feeling of gratitude to them as well as yourself. “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them the human race cannot survive.”- Dalai Lama.

Heart of Texas Regatta

This weekend it’s Heart of Texas, our first regatta of the spring season. I’m very nervous but excited to compete again.

I’m very nervous for Saturday because it’s the day I race a single. I’m still  nervous; even though the race is extremely short—a 1k— I’m going to be on the water all alone, so not looking forward to that. Roughly an hour after my first race, I have an eight: we have never practiced this lineup, it’s going to be a disaster but I will have fun while it lasts.

Sunday will be very exciting; unlike Saturday I have 2 very practiced lineups, both of which I’m tremendously looking forward to. I suppose Sunday will be my treat for roughing the hard waters from the day before. Both of my lineups are eights, and in both boats we have a great set and hardworking people.

The weather forecast is showing this weekend to be miserable but I have my sights set high for this regatta: the rain might rain out my races, but it sure as heck won’t rain on my parade. Let’s go TRC!!!!!

Track Season

Track Season just started and I’m really excited!

I’m going to compete in the 400 because I can sprint through the entire lap–I’ve noticed it’s hard for some people to do that–and even though I’m not the fastest I can keep up a sprint for a fairly long time.

Today we timed the 200 and I got 29.9 seconds which isn’t that bad. I think the 400 will be easier for me because people will stop sprinting when they get to a certain point…but that won’t happen to me if rowing has done anything for me.

I’m nervous for tomorrow though because I have to back up my talk, I’m pretty sure I will do well in the 400 versus any other race but I’m debating whether or not to also try the 200  because I could get a little faster.

There are some field events I have also considered doing: shotput, hurdles, long jump, and triple jump. I think that it’s kind of a waste of time for me though because I just want to get faster for football season–I want to play a skill position–and I think if I just do the 200 and 400 that could make me a better linebacker & running back.

I’m very nervous about this new season because I’ve never done track before, but so far I’m loving competing with people, and I’m looking forward to a great 7th grade track team!

 

Why Spring Break Should Be Longer

Spring Break should be so much longer and why not? Fun in the rain, swimming in creeks, going on nature walks. It could all be done if we just shave off a few weeks of summer for the best spring experience.

First of all summer is too long, kids get bored, out of shape, and there is a general sense of lethargy. Why shouldn’t it be shortened. And then there is Spring Break which is only a few weeks, barely enough time for kids to hang out with their friends and go on fun family vacations. It doesn’t make sense to have these super long and short breaks when they could just be similar sizes.

I think that all schools should adopt year round schooling though, better than having some tiny and a giant break in between, year round school is the best solution to any break problems that may occur.

My opinion on this topic is: we should make our spring and summer breaks similar sizes, but a less provisional solution would be to adopt year round schooling.

My Quad

Lately at practice our coach, Davis has been mixing up lineups, but he found me one and I think this boat will be the best boat I have ever rowed in.

I have been improving upon my technique on the water and so have some of my friends, so when Davis put us in our quad we destroyed every other boat at practice, we were ahead by such a large margin that we were head to head with the double heading to nationals which is actually incredible because of how well trained and strong the people are in that boat, especially since we are a lightweight quad which is the slowest and smallest tier due to how young I am and how small the people I row with are.

I have a very strong feeling about this boat and I know this could be a potential gold. If we could beat every heavy four, I know this boat will lead us to victory.

Winter Break!

My Winter Break was incredible to say the least,

I think I enjoyed my first and last days of winter break the most, on the first day I got to go to a party at my friend Brooke’s house. She hosted a Christmas Party and during the party we just talked for a long time and I really enjoyed being there. I also enjoyed my last day of Winter Break because I went to a nice restaurant called Ramen Tatsu-Ya. I went with some friends and we had a really fun time. Make sure if you go, you buy the #1 it’s by far my favorite.

All in all my Winter Break was probably the most fun I’ve had all year, and is to be remembered as one of the best I will ever have.

 

SAT Testing

Pixabay CC0
Pixabay CC0

Over the weekend I took the Duke TIP SAT. The entire thing took around 5 hours and was super boring.

In the SAT there were a few sections: reading comprehension, vocabulary, and math. I feel like my strongest subject was math but I did breeze through vocabulary super quickly. Before the test I had to do lots of studying before the test as well. I used the Barron’s SAT book, it helped me a lot and if I hadn’t used it I’m sure I would have scored at least 30% less.

All in all I’m really glad I did it though because it was a new experience that allowed me to get a grip for future tests.

Bully Gets Dropped

My poem was inspired by Edwin John Pratt; The Shark. I wrote about this because bullying is a big problem in America. Join the fight against bullying here

 

His body was skinny,

And worried

And pale,

And as he picked up his binder

He turned,

And snapped at his bully

That was about to punch him

I saw the flash of his fist going into the bully’s jaw

And a tooth falling out of his perfect gleam

And eyes full of surprise,

Unscrupulous, distasteful, and scummy,

Then away from the boy’s locker, with his skinny legs

not skipping a beat out of the hallway,

quickly,

shrewdly,

he ran- that strange boy,

skinny, worried, pale,

part rat, part fox

part neither for he was no longer afraid,