So, this week’s VOTW is a little different. I’m all for looking up to people with gold medals and whatever else but I also think it’s important (more so, even) to have role models within our sport who aren’t known simply for their athletic achievements because as much as we’d like to think that rowing is the end all be all to life, it’s not. The majority of you that are reading this right now probably won’t continue with crew in college, even fewer will do it all four years, and even fewer will make a run at the elite level. A couple of you might eventually try your hand at coaching but pretty much all of you will do something else entirely. That’s just the way it is which is why it’s important to think about “what’s next”.
I got to know Eden earlier this year and she’s an amazingly talented person, not to mention a kick-ass coxswain as well. She walked on to Princeton’s lightweight women’s team her freshman year, coxed the Canadian national team’s women’s development eight to a win at Henley and at Holland-Beker in 2012 (two years after she started coxing – TWO YEARS), and coxed Princeton’s varsity eight to a 5th place finish at IRAs this year. Oh, and she dropped out of college following her sophomore year after being awarded $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation.
The reason I’m posting this even though it has little to do with actual rowing is because I wanted to highlight someone awesome within our sport that has accomplished a lot outside of rowing while using many of the applicable-to-real-life skills she learned as a coxswain along the way. It’s important that throughout your time as a coxswain or a rower that you develop those skills so that when it comes time to apply for college, go on job interviews, pitch your ideas to potential investors, etc. you can actually put them to use and demonstrate how being a coxswain/rower taught you XYZ and be able to offer some legitimate, non-cliche examples of how you’ve used those skills off the water.