Lessons from Rowing by Senior Angelina Campanile
PCRA is my great escape. When I cross the drawbridge to get onto Glen Island, everything unrelated to rowing is left on the main land. When I walk down the hallway at the YMCA, I brace myself for the force field of sweat, pain, and commitment I must burst through upon entering the erg room. Once I lock in my oars and sit down either in the boat or on the erg, I am transported to a new place with a new mindset and a new purpose: pull as hard as I can for as long as I can for my teammates sitting either next to me, in front of me, or behind me.
I started rowing for PCRA in spring 2016 and it was perhaps the best decision of my life. From the very beginning, Coach John Brisson made it clear that every time I get into a boat, I must acknowledge that I’ll always have work to do and there will always be more to learn. Coach Kendell Donoho taught me that rowing is about breaking past your limits and constantly setting new ones with your boat. She taught me that every stroke counts and with every stroke we become a better rower and ultimately a better athlete. Coach Henrik Rummel stresses the importance of persistence and challenging yourself to push the hardest even when you feel you have nothing left. PCRA rowers finish their pieces with nothing left in the tank. We give it our all. I will never forget being in my first varsity double with Alexandra Upton in the summer of 2016. Alexandra was a varsity rower who had already been on the team for several years and for some reason took a chance on the novice who had never sculled before. I couldn’t be more thankful to this day. In that double I learned that every stroke, every push, every muscle pain, and every meter is for my teammate. I learned that giving up on this team is never an option. PCRA rowers don’t push for themselves. They push for their teammates. And that’s what makes us special. That’s what makes us different from surrounding teams. We do it for our boat. We do it for our family.
PCRA has taught me the meaning of determination, commitment, grit, support and patience. I am proud to say this team has greatly contributed to molding me into the strong, dedicated young woman I am today. Wherever I go and wherever I may end up rowing in college, I will forever hold close the lessons that PCRA has taught me in my heart.
–Angelina Campanile, PCRA Class of 2018