California State University, Long Beach

My Search for Purpose

Thursday, 28. August 2014

By Ariana Gastelum

Varsity Rower

I was NOT motivated for our first week of practice the week before school started. Nope, I did not look forward to waking up early, mending fresh blisters, not achieving desirable split times on the erg and the pain. So much pain. I remember trying to roll out on the first day of practice after pulling two 3500-meter pieces and five one-minute sprints. Sweat and yes, some tears, streamed down my face. I thought, why am I even here?

However, I wasn’t the only one there. In fact, almost the entire team was there, suffering with me. And the next day, approximately the same number of girls came again.

“Hell Week” consisted of two practices per day. This included rowing, erging, running, stretching and core strengthening.

Although the muscle soreness was unavoidable, I grew more excited for every practice. I could feel my body re-familiarize itself with technique…arms away, body forward, square up early, reach for the catch, back the blade in and DRIVE! I felt like myself again.

Better yet, I was sharing this feeling with my teammates who had been there the entire week. And after the first time all of our blades were off the water, I felt connected to everyone’s mind in that boat. I know why we are here. We are here to row, to improve and to WIN.

The Beach Crew Journals – Videolog

Saturday, 19. May 2012

We have a special treat for you this time. Here is an end-of-year project for Renae Jackson, who decided to share her story as a rower to other students.

Link to video

The Beach Crew Journals – Novice Season Preview

Friday, 23. March 2012

By Coach Jeffrey Vreeland

The 2012 spring racing season is underway and about to get vigorous in the month of April. We take a look at an athlete who discovered Beach Crew over the fall semester as a sport that is like nothing else and has high hopes for his involvement down the road. Take a look…


The experience in my first year of Long Beach State Crew has been a rewarding one. Going into a sport that I knew little about, I was happy to learn to row from the ground up.  I’ve discovered that it’s a sport where you get what you put in on many levels.  Working on gaining physical and technical strength is challenging, but through camaraderie and mental stamina, I have learned to break through walls and push myself with others on the team through goals we never knew were attainable.  As I pushed myself to be a stronger athlete, this inevitably helped me and the team, as shown in reaching the standards we have set as a boat.  It’s not only about me, but my fellow athletes as well, as they have a huge influence on your strength through practice and on race day.  Learning to work together as a team and setting goals on solo and group levels directly correlates with success, which tightly bonds the team together.  It’s a special relationship that I have with everyone in the boat, knowing that we are all ultimately one body when we compete.  The experience that rowing allows for athletes is rich and complex, one that I am hesitant to compare to other sports because of its uniqueness. Rowing is hard, but rewarding. I look forward to what my future in the sport holds for me.

- Garrett Kennedy