Joining Rowing Spring Semester

Lucas Henk '17 (Varsity Men)

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Hometown: River Falls, WI

As the start of spring semester arrives, people get to come back to school with a semester of experience already. They know more of what to expect for the school year. Last year, I was in the same position. I just came back to school from winter break and was ready for classes to start up again. Everything was going as planned, until I went to the spring O-Fest held in the AMU. One of my friends from first semester had told me about the Crew team he was on and had been trying to get me to join the team. I had refused to join all of first semester because I wasn’t sure I wanted to join the team. I wanted to figure out school first.

At O-Fest in the spring, I looked at some clubs and was thinking that I should get involved in a club that was a sport. I stopped by the swimming booth and a few others, but nothing really caught my eye. Eventually I ran into the crew booth where my friend was, along with another friend I knew. They started talking to me and telling me about how great crew was and how much I should join. I ended up talking to them for about two hours. I finally told them that I would sign up and join the crew team. This ended up having a huge influence on my life and I didn’t know it at the time.

I went to practice the next day to see what it was all about. The whole time I was wondering what they would do for practice since it was the middle of January. They had practice in the Academic Support Facility’s basement where they had these rowing machines called ergs. I had no clue what to do. I was introduced to everyone on the team and the coaches. The coaches asked me if I had rowed before and I told them I had no idea about anything. They quickly sat me on an erg and had me try it out. I attempted to row with only my arms, because rowing in my mind was all upper body. Boy was I wrong. They showed me that rowing was more legs than arms. I quickly picked up the basics for how to row and had to practice my form for a while. After the team had done their practice, we all went to eat. We all got a large table in McCormick, got our food and talked about rowing mostly.

>After a couple days of practice, I started to do the work outs with the team and jumped right into being part of the team. My teammates were a great group of guys who accepted me pretty quickly. It was more of a family than a team. So for five days a week we would practice indoors. This was weird for me, because rowing is actually an outdoor sport on a river and here I was doing stuff inside. I had no experience on the water or how different it was than being on land.

I wouldn’t get to row an actual boat until spring break when the team traveled down to Tennessee. We went to Tennessee for a week of rowing in a boat experience which was brand new to me. Getting on the water for the first time was one of the coolest experiences of my life. It is just so different from being on an erg. You actually move along the river and use an oar. Being on the water was a pivotal moment for me where I really decided that I was going to stick with this sport.

Looking back, joining crew in the spring was one of the best decisions I have made. I gained new friends, kept in very good shape and was a part of something that was more than a club. It’s a tough sport to be in, but I believe it is worth it. As of now I have only been in Crew for a year, but it had really changed my life. Crew is a great sport to join and I highly recommend it.


Hosted by Strategically Digital, LLC