The featured image is a photo of me by the Charles River. To be more specific, it’s a section of the Charles right by Harvard’s boathouse, a spot two miles into the course of the Head of the Charles Regatta.
“If your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough.” So I have this dream of coxing a boat at the Head of the Charles during my senior year of college. This aspiration is pretty intimidating because I barely know anything about coxswaining after only a year of training, and this regatta is the real deal. Tons of teams apply and get rejected even to compete, not to mention there can only be one winner of each race. The fear of failure can never be a dissuading factor in the pursuit of a dream. An idealistic mentality is crucial for a novice who wants to compete with varsity athletes, a pre-medical student who wants to enter a vying residency program, or an entrepreneur who wants to develop an idea into a distinct business model. Yes, idealism can be associated with our youthful years, perhaps those of college and shortly thereafter. Right now, I’m not satisfied with my current accomplishments, although I may be happy with where I am at this point in my life. However, I hope to never be completely satisfied, in that sense.
Harvard and the other Ivies have rich and historic rowing legacies. Students are recruited to compete in the heavyweight or lightweight divisions, and rowing is a collegiate sport. I tell my tour groups (I’m a student tour guide at Rice) that I knew absolutely nothing about crew back at home in Los Angeles, nor did I think I would join the team at Rice. While our program has gone through rises and dips in participation and commitment, recently, we have garnered a new spurt of energy, aiming to build the club’s sustainability with our current students and coaches leading the movement. With the launch of our brand new website, prospective rowers and coxswains can gain information about the happenings of our team and hopefully gain inspiration to join us! We’ve had some crazy times my first year–winning a mixed-8 race in Austin, competing against two top programs in New Orleans, etc.–and there are only crazier plans for the future, including a dare-devil rowing trip across the Atlantic that my coaches intend on making in 2015 in the efforts to revitalize Rice Crew and support a construction effort to build a boathouse on the Buffalo Bayou, a river very close in proximity to downtown Houston (would make practices a lot more logistically convenient for us students).
I wrote a post previously about my experience as a coxswain on Rice’s team. I hope it didn’t sound pessimistic or critical, albeit I included a lot of points in which I described how I have grown through being a member of the team. This post is definitely meant to demonstrate my optimism for our program in the near and distant future. 🙂 Stay tuned for more crew-related posts this school year!