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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Column: Rowing teaches student dedication

Senior Kaya Miller explores unconventional sport
During+a+doubles+race%2C+senior+Kaya+Miller+nears+the+midpoint+of+her+rowing+race.+During+this+regatta%2C+she+placed+3rd+in+her+quad+race+and+2nd+in+her+doubles+race.+It+was+during+fall+season+which+have+distance+races+from+4K-6K+meters.+
Courtesy of Kaya Miller
During a doubles race, senior Kaya Miller nears the midpoint of her rowing race. During this regatta, she placed 3rd in her quad race and 2nd in her doubles race. It was during fall season which have distance races from 4K-6K meters.

Twenty-four hours a week for 45 weeks spent gliding oars, chasing 2k times down, and growing mental toughness.

Rowing is prominent on the coasts, in Europe, and at the collegiate level – rather than high school. The motions of rowing are almost the exact same as a rowing machine – the seats move in the boat, and most of the strength should come from the leg drive. It has a bit of a nerdy, preppy and masochist reputation. Rowing is seemingly parallel to fencing or squash. But, impulsively joining the rowing cult was one of the best decisions I have made.

Growing up in southern California, I biked through Marina Del Rey where I would watch the crew team glide past in the evenings. My dad, proud that his height genes transferred, would always hint at me joining when I got older. However, when I moved to Texas

At the boathouse, senior Kaya Miller with her teammates celebrate their last day of summer training. The summer and winter are off seasons for rowing. “Summer training ended up being my favorite training season,” Miller said. “Time on the water first thing in the morning over my break was refreshing. The extra practice also really helped with my technique.” (Kaya Miller)

where the sport was basically non-existent, I just forgot about that idea.

Amid the whirlwind of my junior year, I decided that I wanted to add another random extracurricular to my life, and, more importantly, a stress outlet. I did some research and found two nearby rowing clubs, one closer than the other – Dallas Rowing Club. I emailed the first coach that popped up, which was for Dallas Rowing Club Juniors. On that random Thursday night, I didn’t think much of it. The coach emailed back with a welcome and said I could come that weekend. After convincing my parents that my young driver’s license was equipped to drive to the city six days a week to chase an eccentric hobby, I started a momentous year.

Working out was a chore before rowing. Somewhere through the hours worth of erg training, running, weightlifting, biking, and especially water practice, I became obsessed with the endorphins. I realized the capability and strength of my body. I was able to activate 85% of my muscles through the continuous drive, finish and recovery sequence.

I became close with a diverse group of teenagers, I otherwise would not have bonded with. They understood the inside jokes, the pain of the workouts, the hunger post-practice and the reward. My boatmates were the ones screaming in my ear to “drop the hammer” and “flush out today.” I celebrated with them through the end of regattas as we caught our breath. Now, even after we went our separate ways from the team, I still meet for dinners regularly with one of my teammates.

DRC taught me a new level of dedication. Yes, the rewards of the “Hammer Award” (fastest girls’ 2k time) and stroke seat position validated my work, but the personal growth stuck. I showed up for my goals, for myself, and for my team. I wanted to dedicate my time to perfecting something I loved.

I decided not to compete in my senior spring season because of the travel and time commitment. I really wish I did not live so far from the boat house. I’m grateful for the year of discipline and camaraderie I still completed. I hope to join a rowing team in college and find a new home at their boathouse.

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About the Contributor
Kaya Miller
Kaya Miller, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Kaya Miller, originally from Los Angeles, California, moved to Prosper, Texas in 2017. She attends Prosper High School as a senior. This is her third year on staff, and she is co-editor-in-chief of Eagle Nation Online and editor-in-chief of the print newspaper Eagle Nation Times. Miller is on the Prosper debate team as historian. She is also president of the Spanish Honor Society. Miller is also on the Dallas Rowing Club Juniors team. In her free time, she enjoys baking and playing guitar.
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