Patriot Profile: Anna Benson rows to confidence

Ally Smith, Staff Writer

“You’re out there and you are giving it your all and once you hit the finish line knowing you’ve given everything you’ve got it’s the best feeling in the world,” junior Anna Benson said.
Although Benson has only been rowing for seven months it has already begun to leave a lifelong impact on her. Benson first began rowing in July after she was put in a tough decision whether to continue playing soccer or to go out on a limb and try rowing.
“I have a neighbor who rowed for my club, The Sammamish club, and she told me about how rowing changed her life. At the time I was unsure if I wanted to pursue soccer and after a tough decision period I decided to try out rowing,” Benson said.
After her first few practices, Benson knew she had made the correct choice.
“Rowing gives you this sensation when you are perfectly set and at the perfect speed. You’re connecting with all of these girls it feels like you’re wholesome and part of something. It’s complete bliss,” Benson said.
Rowing takes a lot more than just a couple paddles and a boat. It is an extremely physical and technical sport that requires hours on the weekdays and weekends.
“We have practices five days a week, three hours after school each day from 3:30 to 6:30. We practice not only out on the water but spend time conditioning on land and working on technique as well,” Benson said.
Along with the weekly practicing her club also participates in regattas which are races they have against other rowing clubs. They typically have these about twice each month. These regattas are an all-day event and can sometimes even last the entire weekend.
“In a few weeks my team is traveling to a regatta at Brentwood in Canada. This is really exciting because it is one of the largest regattas that we will have traveled to,” Benson said.
Rowing has not only provided Benson with a fun and rewarding after school sport but has impacted her life outside of rowing.
“Rowing has changed my life and has made me more confident in myself,” Benson said. “It has opened me up to a whole new world of people and opportunities, and I look forward to rowing for many years to come.”