Did you walk on to the lightweight rowing team?
What impact did rowing have on your Dartmouth experience?
Rowing defined my Dartmouth experience. It challenged me both mentally and physically and demanded that I continue to develop and improve. That focused mentality and striving for excellence translated into the classroom. Regardless of my course load, I always did better academically during racing season because the intensity to win translated into the classroom.
One of the reasons I went to Dartmouth was because of it’s spectacular natural location. I can’t think of any better place to touch the natural nexus of Dartmouth’s locale than the Connecticut River, where you can see how both the water and land change throughout the year. Long runs in the hills got me out of Hanover and into the surrounding area.
But the bottom line is the people. The bonds of success, striving for excellence, and shared suffering, as a unit are everlasting.
What impact did rowing have beyond college?
Almost daily, in my business, advocacy, teaching and other activities, I refer to the lessons of rowing: the importance of focus, determination, teamwork, discipline, sacrifice. How, unlike in most other sports, no one person can cause a boat win, but one person missing a stroke can ‘stop’ the boat.
I can say without hesitation or reservation that what I learned about myself and ‘life in general’ through my rowing experience is at least an equal contributor to my professional achievement when compared with what I learned academically.
What would be lost if Dartmouth eliminates the Lightweight Rowing Team?
With thanks (and apologies) to Daniel Webster…
This, Good People, is our case! It is the case not merely of small sports program, it is the case of every athletic team in our Land! It is more! It is the case of every student-athlete throughout our country - of all those persons seeking excellence and to transcend themselves , and to take that pursuit of perfection and scatter its blessings along the pathway of life! It is more! It is, in some sense, the case of every person among us who has a dream and an accomplishment of which he or she may be stripped, for the question is simply this, ‘Shall our College Administrators be allowed to take that which is not their own, to deny an opportunity for individuals to grow and contribute, and forsake this opportunity for other much paler ends and purposes that they in their discretion do not have the ability to discern.’
Good People, you may destroy this little team; it is weak, it is in your hands! We know that you consider it one of the lesser lights in the athletic and intellectual horizon of our college. You may put it out! But if you do so, you must carry through your work! You must extinguish, one after another, all those great sports traditions, which for more than two centuries have thrown their radiance over our institution!
It is, Good People, as we have said, a small sport. And yet there are those who love it!
Good People, we know not how others may feel, but for ourselves, when we see our beloved Lightweight Team surrounded, like Cesar in the senate house, by those who are reiterating stab upon stab, we would not for this right hand have her say to us, ‘Et tu quoque, mi fili’!