Hi, my name is Michelle Low. I'm currently a varsity rower at Los Gatos Rowing Club (LGRC). This year, my team needs your help to raise money to repair and buy necessary equipment for our sport. Unfortunately, rowing requires a lot of expensive equipment, such as long boats big enough to carry 9 people while still gliding smoothly on the water, 12 foot long oars, and many erg machines (those strange rowing machines with seats on wheels that sit in the corner of the gym because no one knows how to use them). Whatever you can donate would be appreciated, and I can assure you that it would be going to a worthwhile cause. There's no other activity which affects one's life and mindset as much as crew. Practices are 5 days a week, each 2.5-3 hours long. For me, rowing is rushing out from your last class at school and jumping into the car, shoveling an energy bar in your mouth, obsessing over what workout is in store for you today while worrying about the million tests you have coming up. It's staring at the edge of the winding road up to the boathouse, remembering the sweat and pain you felt while running over that black, unforgiving asphalt and wondering if you're doing that today. It's that sense of apprehension that you have felt the entire school day over the 2k planned for practice culminating into a mass of nerves and anxiety as you sit down on that erg. And then, as you row, it's the blisters and calluses you can feel forming as the skin on your hand literally shifts a centimeter down the flesh and rips open. Rowing is that feeling you get when you lie on the dirty concrete floor of the boathouse after a particularly grueling workout, exhausted and dripping with sweat and feeling like you could dissolve into the floor, and your psychotic coach informs you that you're doing it all over again. Rowing is getting back home and attempting to wash your hair with blisters covering your palms and hissing in the shower as the shampoo gets onto the open wounds and burns so badly you're wildly flapping your hands in the air in a valiant effort to ease the pain. It's also sitting down at your desk, dark outside because its late and you just got back from practice, eyes half open and body impossibly sore, and facing your ominous mountain of homework and studying that you have yet to complete because you were at practice. But it's also way more than that. It's important not to forget about the unforgettable bonds you make with the members of your team (because let's face it they're the only people you have time to hang out with anyway). You and your team have seen each other at your worst, have faced countless demonic workouts together, have cheered each other on when erging even when most would have been too out of breath to bother, and are united as one by your common goal: to improve, row fast, and be the best you can be as a team. Rowers are addicts; they're all addicted to that feeling of euphoria and synchronization that you get as you and the other 7 rowers in your boat match up, your oars cutting into the water at the exact same time, feeling the raw power of 8 human beings propelling a carbon fiber shell seemingly effortlessly over a smooth expanse of water. You can hear the coxswain's fierce voice emanating from the mini speakers, urging you to pull something from deep inside of you and somehow make that boat move even faster. And as you do find a way to give even more, your boat moves ahead, and you can see all the losing boats slip farther and farther away because you found something inside of you that they couldn't. It's those moments that make all the pain, sweat, tears, time, effort, and bloody blisters worth it. It's moments like those that justify why people like me dedicate their lives to rowing and willingly submit to all its pressures and difficulties. And I hope it's now easier to understand why I'm so committed to this cause, and I hope you can now recognize its worth and support us. Thank You!