Cadence, Commitment & Connection by Bianca McIver

Bianca McIver and SJ O’Connor at The Head of the Charles River Regatta 2018

Bianca McIver and SJ O’Connor at The Head of the Charles River Regatta 2018

Click. Catch. Exhale. Send. Click. Recover. Inhale…

This succession of sounds is the rhythm of rowing. The click of squaring the blade is followed by the oar hitting the water. Oxygen is forced from the body as the the legs pound against the foot plates. The boat lunges forward demanding a click at the finish along with a craving for another stroke.

This perfect rhythm that accelerates the boat forward is the goal that every rower strives for, keeping everyone together and collected. This is the rhythm I’ve internalized over the last three years. The goal to accelerate the boat through this rhythm is always my goal when I step into the shell...I started rowing for Pelham in the Winter of 2015. We did a 2k at my first practice and when I got home, I fell out of the car trying to get out. That spring, I sat four seat in our women’s novice eight and was always yelled at by my two seat for splashing too much. I’m now proud to call that girl my best friend. I had no idea the impact of hauling on that bright blue Vespoli shell would have on my life.

I’m proud to call PCRA my home away from home. With a home comes family. Being a part of PCRA means being surrounded by support, determination, grit, and dedication. I will be forever grateful for the number of people I have met on this team who have become some of my closest friends today. A friend who is a rower is a special kind of friend, one that you can’t find through any other sport. They truly know what it means to be there for you through thick and thin.

My favorite race at PCRA was my first time rowing in the Head of the Charles regatta in the fall of 2017. The thrill of racing down at 33 strokes per minute with people cheering all the way down that brutal course will stay with me forever. To make that day even better, we were told that we had requalified that boat for next year when we got back to the trailer.

Despite the unending supply of blisters, the many mornings of waking up at ungodly hours, and the unfortunate days of walking into the boathouse and hearing ergs, I can truly say that this team has changed my life for the better. I am forever grateful for all of my coaches, teammates, and friends and what they’ve done for me. Thank you for everything, PCRA.

MaryAnn Provenzano