Part of the Team by Peyton Kinon
Last spring at States, our boat got 3rd in our race. When I first joined the Varsity team, I’m pretty sure that nobody thought our boat, the 2V 8+, would have even come close to a medal. Our boat was not very fast at first, mostly due to my inexperience. I was terrible with matching up with everybody else in the boat, my technique was nonexistent, and my cardiovascular fitness was that of your average football lineman.
However, Coach Reid was incredibly patient with me, as it took me a little too long to really improve technically, but he never gave up. Day after day he would tell me everything I needed to do to improve and to help the boat. Nobody in my boat ever said anything to me in a mean spirited manner. They all tried as hard as they could to help me become a better rower. Everybody was incredibly inviting towards me. After a couple weeks of practice and a lunch with my boat-mates, these people who I had just met a few weeks earlier were now like brothers to me.
Everyday, we would go side-by-side with the 1V and we would all have the same thought in our heads: to beat them. And while that never really happened consistently, we remained incredibly determined to win each practice. As States drew nearer, our boat noticed that there was an improvement in our speed almost everyday. We were becoming increasingly excited to test out our speed against boats from other teams. We carried that excitement into our races in Saratoga, and after the qualifying race, we knew we were going to do well. We were delighted that we were able to represent PCRA and leave our mark on the New York rowing community.
None of this would have been possible, however, without the incredible environment that exists throughout all of PCRA. I had never before been on a team with such enthusiasm—from both the rowers and the coaches—to be the best, and I have been on a lot of teams. This atmosphere of improvement through cooperation ensures that everybody on the team will always perform as best as they can and that everyone will keep improving as rowers and people. Being a part of PCRA has definitely changed my life for the better and I am extremely glad that I made the choice to be a part of the team.