Real Women Move
Once upon a time there was a team of novice rowers. Only one had experience rowing prior to arriving at college her Freshman year. The rest had never picked up an oar let alone seen a rowing shell. Many of the women were small, not the “ideal” size to propel an eight forward to a top finish at the end of season rowing championship, or at least that’s what some people might say. These rowers did not look like your typical rowing champions. No one expected what these small but mighty women would do once they found their inspiration, their grit and their determination. After that they were unstoppable.
I was lucky enough to coach this group of women when I was only a few months out of college. I wanted to share my passion for rowing, a love for the sport and a drive to succeed with my athletes. These women were eager to learn. They showed up ready to work hard every day to learn something new even though it meant long hours out in the cold in the early mornings and late afternoons. Being the novice team we were not given the best equipment or the best practice times. My team was often slotted to row on our own without the rest of the team (varsity men and women and novice men). No one expected that my rowers would discover their passion, one that lit a fire to work together to do something great, something unexpected.
Learning to row as a boat of eight rowers with a coxswain acting as a mini-coach can be tedious and frustrating. You must develop an unspoken agreement with the other rowers that each time you set foot in the rowing shell that you will give it your all whether with physical output or finesse and focus when learning technique. Getting into a sport that is totally new can be intimidating when you first get started as everything you are learning and everything that you are doing is brand new. The accomplishment you will feel as you begin to discover what a new sport is all about will be incredible. You will discover new strengths within your self that you never knew you had and you will find new motivation.
My small but mighty crew of rowers joined together and in quiet determination developed a new power within themselves. They worked together to find rhythm in their strokes and to put their blades into the water in powerful unison. My rowers learned the power of individuals as a team and they worked hard every day to make their goal a reality. Not only were they a team but I saw within each one of them grow new strength and confidence.
The results in our final races of the season were stunning. This group of new rowers used everything that they had to row to an unprecedented 2nd place finish for the novice women. Outperforming any previous finishes by any novice women’s team in the history of the program. Watching these women move down the race course in fluid motion, together, strong and as one is something I will never forget. They were rowing for each other but also for themselves. They found what they needed within coupled with what they had learned in training and their new physical strength to push themselves to their goal.
My rowers had done what nobody thought they could but they did it for themselves which is what was the most important thing about this day for me. They were strong, they were inspired, the were determined and they were graceful. Real Women Move!
When I was asked by Skirt Sports to write something about what #RealWomenMove means to me this is the first memory that cam to mind. The #RealWomenMove mission is,
“to empower unmotivated or intimidated women and young girls . . . to make health and fitness a priority, despite the daily obstacles that get thrown in our paths.”
My rowers were not unmotivated but they were new and they were not the “typical” rowers. It was never expected that they would finish so well yet they took on the challenge set before them and didn’t let anyone tell them that their goals were too big!
Now my challenge to you is to get out and get moving. Stop on over to see what the #RealWomenMove Movement is all about. Join us in lifting other women up by sharing your own story and sharing the stories of other women. Be sure to use the #RealWomenMove and #SkirtSports hashtags.
Here is the extra cool part of the challenge you can nominate a friend to win a Get Started Scholarship from Skirt Sports to get them some awesome gear to get started and an entry into their first 5K. For more information on the #RealWomenMove Campaign and Get Started please click HERE!
It’s time to get out there and move! How will you move this week?
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