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Rowing Her Way Through Life

Colin B Photography

Colin B Photography

Delaney Pannier, Clubs and Activities Editor

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Senior Mary Grace Phelan  is just your average student. She goes to school, does her homework, and hangs out with friends. Yet what you might not know, is that Mary Grace travels to Chicago after school every day to row. Instead of dabbling in a variety of sports and learning which one she liked best, Mary Grace became aware of her favorite sport in a different way.

“This woman approached me in Barnes and Noble, handed me her business card, and told me that I had a good build for rowing,” Mary Grace said, “I kept that business card in junk drawer in my room and ended up finding it and calling the woman two years later asking if I could join.”

Ever since that woman approached Mary Grace, she has been rowing at various clubs for one and a half years.

“I began rowing for the Saint Charles Rowing Club on the Fox River but now I row for the Chicago Rowing Foundation on the Chicago River,” Mary Grace said.

Her eight person rowing team that she is currently part of is undefeated, and they have placed first in all of their races. Rowing is not a always smooth sailing. It involves both mental and physical endurance.                                                                                               

“The most difficult part for me is the technical aspect of it because it is easy to learn the stroke, but I’ve learned that there are so many small things that can affect the boat speed; especially when weather conditions change,” Mary Grace said.

Mary Grace has benefitted from taking the step of trying a new activity in a variety of ways. She has made friends from rowing and has received opportunities to continue to row in college. She has chosen to attend the University of Notre Dame next Fall.

“I chose Notre Dame because they have a solid program and I love the school,” Mary Grace said.

Past college, Mary Grace has thought of the idea of continuing to row.

“Rowing on the US National team is definitely a goal of mine that I’m going to work towards with my time at Notre Dame,” Mary Grace said.

Rowing is a sport that is not well-known here at GHS but there are opportunities out there for students to try this sport. The most local opportunity, is to try the Saint Charles Rowing Club.

When asked what she would tell someone who is considering rowing, Mary Grace replied, “I would tell someone who is considering rowing to give it a try. He or She may end up loving it.”

 

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Rowing Her Way Through Life