Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ram Fan: Rowing Edition

My sophomore year, I roomed with one of my best friends in O'Hare Hall. We had been pretty close before becoming roommates, but the experience made us almost like sisters. We spent the year together exchanging clothes, offering gym advice, and complaining about the little things that frustrated us during the day. Although we have very different interests and majors, we were incredibly compatible roommates, and she remains one of my closest friends to this day.

My roommate was, and still is, on the Women's Rowing team. She walked on freshman year, and worked her way up from the novice boat. She originally tried it out of mild interest and an outlet to stay active for a girl involved in high school sports, but she quickly grew to love it and devoted herself to the sport. She woke up almost every day at 6AM for practice, spent her weekends at regattas, her breaks at training trips, and worked out up to three times a day. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever encountered, with an aspiration for success and a passion for bettering herself that never ceases to amaze me. I would see her come home at night exhausted, with an aching body and hours of Multivariable Calculus homework to do, and still be ready to do it again tomorrow. I watched her work herself as hard as other recruited varsity athletes, and genuinely admired her dedication perpetual persistence.

A beautiful day on the Schuykill!
Last weekend, over spring break, I (finally) made it to one of her regattas. The Fordham Rowing team competed at the Murphy Cup on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia, not too far from my hometown. Having never been to a regatta before, I was unsure what to expect. I had listened to my roommate talk about the team, their boats, and their races for a year, but seeing it in person was entirely different. I made it just in time to watch her win her qualifying race, and was so excited by the energy and morale surrounding me. I recognized a couple of rowers from classes and activities around campus, so I made conversation about their spring training trip and how the other boats were doing throughout the day.

My view of her race from my snapchat

Once my roommate and the other members of her boat put their boat away after their race, they came over to the Fordham tent, where families and other team members were congregating. She immediately ran to me to give me a suffocating hug, and I was thrilled to see her so happy. We talked for a while about how the day was going, and she even snuck me some of the food that the supporting parents provide for the team. It was enjoyable to see her in her element and to recognize in person everything that she had told me about her sport. Seeing all of her hard work pay off made me proud to have her in my life as not only an inspiration, but a best friend as well.

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