Choosing to Be

Saturday, November 03, 2018 - By: Jack NG, Ellis ‘21; Photo by Brian Carr

“To be, or not to be? That is the question.” At Brentwood, about 20% of the student body chooses to be, and half of that 20% have made their choice in the last 3 months. 

100 students here are part of the rowing program, with 50 of us just trying it out for the first time this fall. Coming into the season, I had never been in a rowing shell before, let alone touched one of those long fiberglass things known as “oars”.  After the first week of a few people people switch in and out, we have learned the difference between the women and the girls, the weak and the strong, the men and the boys. When asked what he loves about rowing, Sam L, Rogers ‘22 replied “I like wearing unisuits!”

Now that we are all settled in to our groups, the Novice Girls with Mr. Braithwaite and Mr. Ganley, the Junior Boys with Ms Tarrant and Mr. Wismer, the Senior Boys with Ms Ostopovich, we all head out on the water from 3-5 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. The bravest - and possibly the most insane - have also chosen to go out for a 7 am morning row or two. This past Wednesday 23 novice boys and girls enjoyed their first morning row. Placing their shells on the water as the sun rose over Mt. Baker allowed them 60 minutes of race preparation on flat water before a hot breakfast in Crooks Hall. 

October 26th and 27th many of our novice rowers headed over to the Mainland for the Deep Cove Regatta. This featured singles, doubles, and quad races that were only 500 meters long. They left school on Friday afternoon and returned on a late ferry Saturday, having raced all day. 

To be or not to be? 

Don’t let the early mornings, cold rows, and hard erg pieces distract you from the satisfaction the Brentwood Rowing program brings as an athlete, a hard worker, a rower. As our Head of School, Mr. Patel, reminds us, this is what we “Choose to Be.”

Jack NG, Ellis ‘21

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