I'm 16 years old and currently a sophomore in high school. During the cold winter months of my physical education class, we were unable to run, so we rowed! We were assigned to row 2000 meters every Friday, which was a hassle, but being in a competitive environment pushed me to persist to reach better times.
I never particularly enjoyed rowing until my family got very lucky in a recent raffle and won a free rowing machine from Concept2. March was approaching, and I was informed about the Mud Season Madness Challenge. I have always been the kind of guy to step up to a challenge, and the next thing I knew I was rowing 5000 meters for the first time. The best part about it was that it was directly in between the nordic ski season and track and field season, granting me time to really focus on my 5k rows day by day. The constant rowing shaped up my form and gave me the opportunity to push to a new level that seemed to be only a dream at first.
According to Concept2's ranking system, I am 14th in the world for a 5k time this season for age 13–18 lightweight athletes. The rapid progression in my technique and times has awakened a new passion in my heart, pushing all other sports aside. Rowing proved to be a serious challenge as I pushed myself to beat my personal bests. Every time I set a new time, I sat there thinking, “There is no way I can beat this time!" and Boom! I chopped 20 full seconds off of my personal best.
I have recently found a passion for rowing after only owning a machine for about four months. I have plenty of goals for the future, such as the independent Global Marathon Challenge, the Million Meter Milestone for an indoor rower, actual rowing on water, and perhaps joining a rowing team. Having this rowing machine in my basement grants me easy access to a solid workout no matter the season, which is exactly why rowing has proved itself to become a great part of what defines me as an athlete. Now I don't have the excuse of a blizzard blaring outside to miss working out for the day.