Rowing for your entire college career is something worth bragging about. Even better, knowing that you’re now a part of a campus tradition that has been more than 50 years in the making, we can conclude that we lived through the true college experience. Whether or not we continue striving in the sport, we pay tribute to the impact that it once had on us. Beach Crew is proud to present this journal of a rower who was searching for something, a purpose on campus, and having it become the driving force of her life during her time well spent at CSU Long Beach. Beach Crew is proud to be a family for many people who once embraced their hands on an oar and are proud to have the support of our alumni community.
Four years ago I came to Long Beach State, with its student body twice the size of my small town’s population. I was lost. I walked the halls, sat down in class, not knowing or recognizing anyone. I was alone. I searched for something to do but I didn’t know what I would do. Then, Beach Crew found me, in the way that they miraculously find all those students who truly need them. Where once I had emptiness and a world full of strangers, I now had a purpose and a community on campus.
Each year I considered when my time with the team might come to an end. I told myself, “one more year.” Now, four years later, as I am preparing to finally say my goodbyes, I truly understand that Beach Crew is not such an easy thing to give up. In the last four years I have experienced more than I ever could have dreamed or imagined. I have had two inspiring coaches, traveled to five different states, and won seven gold medals. I have been an athlete, teammate, friend, competitor, leader, and a champion.
When I first came to Beach Crew, I was simply looking for a place to spend my time, but in this team I found so much more. I found out who I really was on the team. Finding 300 miles from home, I still had a family. When that alarm goes off at 5:00 AM and all you are feeling is tired, hungry, and stressed, it’s hard to pull yourself out of bed and getting over to the Pete Archer Rowing Center. Once you have crossed the finish line in first place, with your hands raised in the air because you have suddenly achieved all of your goals, there is no other place in the mind.
I am not sure where my future will take me, but I do know that I will never again be the lost, lonely girl, I once was when I first came to Long Beach. I owe this to my team. I am so grateful for the friendship of my coaches and teammates. I will always treasure the amazing experience and memories this team has given me. I know I am not the first, or the last, to say I cannot imagine what my college experience would have been without this amazing team. Beach Crew is a struggle and a triumph that I would never trade one single day.
Thank you for everything Beach Crew.
Women’s Varsity Team