In efforts to keep the local community, alumni, and parents informed about our program, we invite you to take a look at the Beach Crew Journals. Every few weeks we will post journals to beachcrew.org from a few rowers about their experience and anticipation of the activities upon them.
It wasn’t until my junior year here at Cal. State Long Beach that I finally found a way to feel connected to the school. CSULB is a commuter school, no doubt about it. Students show up before class, fight for parking, take notes for a few hours, and then they are on their way. Sounds more like a job than an ideal college experience. That was more or less my routine for the past two years. One day, while dodging the barrage of oncoming students to find a decent seat in my next class across campus, someone yelled out to me “do you want to join crew?” “Crew?” I contemplated to myself, “isn’t that just a bunch of guys wearing spandex rowing a boat before the sun even comes up?” I looked at the piece of paper he was holding in his hand. My natural instinct in this situation is to say, “no thanks,” to the annoying person shoving a flyer in my face, walk away, and step over a pile of them littered on the ground forty feet away. But something stopped me this time. This wasn’t some ad to get me into a club to see DJ Yo’ Mama or something of the sort, but perhaps an opportunity to be a part of something. I looked at the fellow student, took the piece of paper and simply replied, “why not?”
Countless of thousands of meters rowing later I now find myself asking other students, “why not?” Why not join crew? One often hears similar responses such as, “It’s too early,” or, “I’m busy with school,” or some other generic response. Maybe two years ago I might have replied the same way, but now I realize how great it feels to be a little closer to the school. Once you mentally get past the fact that you see the sun rise five or six times a week, it becomes so much easier. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain with crew. Everyday you will get to witness something new, from amphibious trucks, to dolphins in the bay, and the occasional filming of CSI. Take yourself to your mental and physical limits and see what you are made of. The comradery you build with others is unbeatable and the stories are often of epic proportion. You are guaranteed to get into the best shape of your life. When walking around campus, don’t be surprised if you find yourself raising your head a little higher than everyone else. I look forward to the rest of my time in crew. The only thing I regret, is not knowing about it two years ago.
– Dustin Hardin,
Men’s Novice Team