I was introduced to rowing when I walked on to the Women’s Lightweight team in the winter of my freshman year at Stanford. Having run track in high school I wanted to keep racing, and rowing was a sport that still felt accessible at a competitive level even without previous exposure to it. Although I had gone in expecting to row, I fit the physical bill for a coxswain and the team really needed someone in that role - so my journey as a cox began. I would have described myself as shy at the time, so the thought of directing experienced rowers was a daunting one - especially as a novice. But over the course of my coxing career, with support from coaches and team members, I learned to overcome that barrier and more. I became a leader, practiced in problem-solving, team-building and high-pressure decision-making. I learned to execute a race plan while being sensitive to my rower’s needs, ultimately helping bring us to the team’s first National title in 2010. Being a coxswain fast-tracked my personal growth, equipping me with self-confidence, rigor, and a deep appreciation for teamwork that I will always be grateful for; these were some of the most valuable skills I gained during my time as a Stanford student, and for that I thank the Women’s Lightweight Rowing program.
-Mariel Lanas, Class of 2012