I was a very bad and lazy rower when I was 18. Not being able to cut 7min on 2k ergo in college was one of my biggest regrets. Would it even be possible for me to cut 7min at the age of 30 with no rowing practice over the past 12 years? I honestly didn't know. I became even more worried when I learned that the average 2k ergo score of WURC male rowers was under 6:50. "I must do it no matter what," I told myself.
What followed were three months of hell-like trainings, not just the club menu, but also extra 1-2 sessions every day, ergo plus running. Three months later, I cut 6:45. Two months after that, I cut 6:40.
But rowing is much more than individual performance. It is a team sport. I have been fortunate enough to be assigned to boats with many seats. Although we were not the fastest, we were by no means any less motivated. Although we did not win our competitions, we did not let the results interfere with our passion for rowing. We cherished the time spent together, under the spring rain, summer heat, autumn wind, and winter freeze.
I would like to thank every single member of WURC for accepting me, a foreigner who cannot even speak your language well and who is still learning your culture. I am sure that many years from now, we will chat about the old time in Japanese, instilling melodies in our silent memories. I would also like to thank all the coaches and supervisors for pushing me, making me a better version of myself during the short 1.5 years. Thank you Erica-san for your encouragement and smiles no matter how bad the situations were. Thank you Funakoshi-san for the menu written specifically for me when I struggled with single scull. Although we didn't talk much, I very much appreciate your time and your faith in me.
Lastly, to my fellow teammates:
※Life is not a sprint but a marathon. So don't rush. Train hard and work hard but take good care of your body. It is better to be consistently good than occasionally great.
※Everyone has his or her own pace. So don't compare yourself with others. Compare yourself with you yesterday, last month, or last year. Be positive, the second day is always better than the first.
※If you have a dream to achieve something, just follow your heart and go for it. Don't care about what others think of you. Don't think about what comes after or what came before. You just gotta bend your knees, take a deep breath, and jump. You might think, "What if I fall?" Well, what if you fly?