My name is Michelle Low. I'm currently a varsity rower at Los Gatos Rowing Club . This year, my team needs your help to raise money to repair and buy necessary equipment for our sport. Unfortunately, rowing requires a multitude of expensive equipment, such as boats large enough to carry 9 people while still gliding smoothly on the water, 12 feet long oars, and erg machines (those odd-looking rowing machines with seats on wheels that sit in the corner of the gym because no one knows how to use them). However much you can donate would be appreciated, and I can assure you that it would be going to a worthwhile cause. There's no other sport which affects one's life and mindset as much as crew. Practices are 5 days a week, each 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 simultaneously worrying about the various tests you have that week. 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 going to be forced to do that today. Rowing is the apprehension you feel over the 2k planned for practice that has plagued you the entire school day, 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 the feeling you get when you lie on the dirty concrete floor of the boathouse after a particularly grueling workout, exhausted, dripping with sweat, and feeling like you could dissolve into the floor, when 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, cursing as the shampoo hits the open wounds and burns so badly that you wildly flap your hands in a useless effort to ease the pain. It's also sitting down at your desk when it’s already dark outside because it’s late and you just got back from practice; your eyes are half open and your body is impossibly sore, but an ominous mountain of homework and studying awaits because your entire afternoon was spent at the boathouse. But rowing is also so much more than that. For me, the sport is defined by 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 during erg workouts even when most would have been too out of breath to bother. You and your team are united as one by a common goal: to improve, row fast, and be the best athlete you can be. Rowers are all addicts; they crave that feeling of euphoria and synchronization that materializes out of pure sweat and pain 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 that something inside of you that they couldn't. It's those moments that make all the pain, tears, time, effort, and bloody blisters worth it. It's moments like those that justify why people like me dedicate their time to rowing and willingly submit to all its pressures and difficulties. I hope it is 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!