"Holly what is your favorite thing about rowing?"
I love rowing. You probably knew that. So you are asking me what do I love specifically? I love that rowing will teach you more about yourself and what you are capable of (while still being in a safe environment) than any class you will take in school or other sport you will play. I believe that rowing will teach you things about yourself everyday, but rowing will also teach you about life if you let it. The relationship between the work you put in and your speed are linear. There is virtually no other thing in the world that you can do where that is true. It really is all about hard work and this is the best lesson for success in life. Grit and resilience are the greatest predictors for success - what better way to learn these skills?
In most other sports, there are other factors such as ball skill or shooting talent. With rowing, if you put in the work you will get faster. Of course you have to row well and be coachable and all of that, but the connection is so clear and the ergs do not lie. You cannot "fake" your speed on the erg. This is why the erg is so bloody hard and so amazing at the same time. The erg is not a test, it is a tool. Use the tool, every day. If you befriend the erg then you will learn more about yourself and life than in any other class or sport out there. I firmly believe that. I am a teacher first and a coach second and as Harry Parker said, "we have a fairly narrow curriculum."
I love that rowing has changed so many peoples' lives. I have not had an athlete that has really gone after it and "let 'er rip" that has not been changed for the rest of his/her life. This is why some people think rowers are crazy or part of some sort of exclusive club - we are. Once you have pushed to the edge and OVER that edge - your life will change. And what you learn about yourself when you hit the bottom and then pick yourself back up again will change you forever.
Thanks for the question.
Love the Fight,