The following were all written by members of the team.

Initially I joined crew because while most in my class had sports backgrounds from their childhoods, I did not. Crew seemed optimal as you were to be taught everything. I remember my first day of crew, we walked to practice that day and prior to that I had never walked so much in my life (which was rather unimpressive considering it was barely a mile distance). I struggled that season since it was my first, but I made an oath to myself that I wouldn't give up and I didn't. By the time spring season had arrived I ran the distance I so previously struggled to walk, I eventually walked twenty miles during the walk for hunger.

The unique attribute about crew that made me stay with it is that it is a true team sport. it's never about how many home runs one player get, or how many touch downs someone makes. It's about a boat, a team not about one person's ability over his/hers teammates. This gives Crew a more team-oriented and accepting atmosphere. After joining crew I have made more friends than I have ever had. They accepted me and gave me the chance to prove that I could push myself and never give up.

Crew has made me a stronger, harder working, more determined person. I wouldn't rather be spending my afternoons, weekends, the time that i took took to write this for anything else. This is because despite the pain, the exhaustion, and the hard work it was and will always be worth it because this is where I belong.

- Written by a varsity rower after completing his novice year, Fall 2011

Crew is a sport where one uses oars to push water backwards in order to propel a boat (or shell) forward. But that definition is only a literal sense. Crew is a way of life.

It is impossible to tell me that a person does not change after being on a crew team for a single season. There is just too much going on, each practice we work for improvement; each race we work for satisfaction; each day is important. This even includes days that we don’t practice.

Crew is my regulator. It tells me how much I am allowed to slack in work and how much slack I have in my eating habits. Should my performance drop, I reflect back upon the week and determine exactly what I must change. Prior to crew, sweets were common. After barely a single season, eating candy is personally frowned upon; ice cream almost sin. Sleep is a requirement, and finishing other work fast enough to have a resting period before sleep is key.

It can be said that different roles of the boat teach different responsibilities, but being a person who has jumped around virtually every seat of an eight boat, I prefer to think that I learn plenty. Leadership is an exceedingly important characteristic, one whose importance only continues to rise when expected to row stroke seat or cox the boat itself. It can be argued that I have always had some leadership qualities, or the opposite, but season after season, I can see myself move others along. Playing other roles, such as either of bow pair, provide me more experience and reason to focus on following others and visualizing what is significant to both them and the general group. Both leadership and following are necessary in daily life as well, which allows me to take practices as both mental and physical training.

Prior to joining crew, “physical training” was not part of my dictionary. My definition of a workout consisted of a quarter mile jog at most and a few quick stretches. But now--regardless of my innately spontaneous sweat glands—a mile is a decent start and anything less than 20 of three different forms of abdominal work is light. One must keep in mind however, that I have already grown in size and shape from my form before crew, thus nullifying my ability to compare with the newer members about the definition of a hard practice.

Growing up as someone who absolutely hated very many things, including sports, crew was something I felt obligated to do at the beginning because of the effort someone had put in attempts to convince me. But with the wide variety of personalities each person had, it allowed me to enjoy myself. I opened myself to the possibilities of friendship that I had forgotten about earlier. The largest effect came from the races. Spending on average seven hours away from those not interested in crew surrounded by a supportive team that only thinks of each other, there is no way for me not to accept their kindness and humor.

To me, the crew team has become a family. With our two coaches as parents, each of us works in hopes of becoming a greater part of the whole. I return to try my best because of the respect I have for this family which taught me to both work hard and enjoy my time while doing it. Crew is a way of life. It is the way I live.\

- Written by a 4th season varsity rower, Fall 2011

I joined Malden Crew in the spring of 2009, my freshman year of high school. I have been rowing in spring since then and this is my first fall season with the Gentle Giant Rowing Club. I started rowing because of many reasons, it’s something new, it was a sport, I wasn’t in good shape, and needed improvement. I joined because some of my Algebra class joined (coincidently, the teacher was Ms. Jones), because my parents wanted me to do a sport, because I wanted to fit in, the list goes on and on. Crew seemed to be the ideal activity for me, being in a sport meant a lot; the experience of many new people I could meet was an added bonus. It was a new start for me, I had just changed schools, and I was quiet and really needed a place to start at the school.

Two years later, my life has changed. I am not considered new at school anymore, I’m accepted and not just weirdly wandering the halls. I feel much better about myself, not as quiet as before. I might be a little awkward (which seems to be easy to see during practice) but that and other things I would continue to work on for the rest of my rowing career. I’m thinking of doing another sport, confident that I am able to take on a new sport (to me) after crew. I would continue to row though; it’s something that I wouldn’t give up on.

What CREW means to me, is basically a challenge, the change from being an awkward freshman to what I am now. It has improved me, mentally and physically, to do things I wouldn’t have dreamt of two years back, like rowing all of a 5k or climbing the Harvard Stadium. Things I couldn’t do a few years back, I would be able to accomplish now. It’s changed my life and that’s why rowing is meaningful to me.

- Written by a male varsity rower, Fall 2011

The reason I joined crew was to have an experience with something new that I have never tried before, and to get exercise at the same time. When I first joined crew, I thought it was just about rowing, but I learned that it is more than that; it’s about teamwork. Another reason I’m taking crew is because I’ll be able to write down a sport that I took during high school on my college application. My friends recommended that I should join crew because they needed more people on the team, this year I finally decided to join and immediately regretted not taking crew last year because of how fun of an experience it turned out to be. I’ve met plenty of new people on the team and became even closer to friends that were on the team already.

Joining crew also gave me something to do afterschool because before I joined crew I would just go home and watch television and then do homework, but now it takes up a lot of the time I used to waste after school watching television. I’ve learned that teamwork is essential because if you’re rowing a four boat and are out of sync with the other rowers, the boat will rock back and forth. In all, I’ve learned that is more than a sport, it’s and experience.

- Written by a first season novice rower, Fall 2011

, Fall 20