Updated: Oct 18, 2018
Hi! I’m Gem Gatmaytan and I’m an incoming freshman. I have been rowing at Pocock for about a year now. My best friend’s mom asked me if I was interested last summer and I just went for it.
I’d never found a sport I truly loved until crew. It was a sport that just let me feel so relaxed despite the exhaustion after each practice, and the community made me feel good about it. After the two week summer camp, I was completely hooked! I signed up for a recreational session in fall. I went once a week and had a load of fun. It was sad seeing that it had come to an end after three months, but that was all made up for after my coach had emailed me and I ended up getting invited onto the competitive middle school team!
As 2018 rolled around I was pumped to get back into it as I started my competitive spring season. For five months, I experienced both pain and satisfaction. I would get to practice three times a week right after school ready for whatever was put forth. It was a small team of five girls and one boy. Crew helped us become so close and grow amazing life-long lasting friendships! Besides all of the tough training, I have so many fun-filled memories and am able to do so many more things that I have never had the chance to do.
I remember once, we were in Lake Union all rowing in doubles. It was a very frustratingly windy day and one of the doubles flipped! No one got hurt fortunately, if anything every single one of us were laughing! As for the erg, I feel as though I have gotten so much better with posture and with all of the correct strategies to use during long pieces.
As the date of the regatta got closer and closer, we all started to get stressed out because none of us had ever raced at an actual regatta before. Finally...race day came. Unfortunately, due to age restrictions, it came down to only five of us girls rowing a coxed quad. It was highly intimidating for us considering that we were the only middle school group at Pocock racing at Regionals. But almost everyone there was very inclusive and most of all high spirited towards us, telling us that we were going to absolutely dominate the other boats! And we absolutely did!
The five months of all our sweat ethic had paid off. It was definitely nerve wracking and scary, but right as the referee said “Go!” we promised each other that we would win this for each other and of course, Grant, our amazing coach! So that evening, we held our heads high with our gold medals. I genuinely can’t wait until my new novice experience coming up!