Tyler Ready is a senior at Leigh High School and was just recently recognized as one of 36 athletes on the USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll for being both academically and athletically successful. In order to make the honor roll, students had to have not only very high GPAs and test scores, but also his success in USRowing and compete at the regional level.
Q: How did you feel when you found out that you made the USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll?
A: “Honestly, I didn’t actually know what the award was when I found out I had received it. I researched it and, after finding out how exclusive the award was, I was dumbfounded. While I have always worked very hard in both rowing and in academics, I had never received an award or anything similar until that point, so I was overwhelmed with satisfaction that my efforts had not gone unrecognized.”
Q: How competitive was rowing?
A: “Rowing is a very competitive sport. Unlike many other sports, talent doesn’t give much of an edge in crew, so people win races purely on how much effort they put into training. As a result, training for races takes countless hours every year—painful, grueling hours—but the races themselves only take about 6 minutes.”
Q: Are you thinking about continuing your career in rowing? If so, what are you looking forward to most?
A: “I was not recruited by any coaches to row in college, so I have no obligation to continue rowing at whatever college I go to. Nevertheless, I will probably try to walk onto the team wherever I go because crew has made such an impact on my life, and I want it to continue to be a part of how I am.”
Q: Did you have to give up/miss out on anything in order to row competitively?
A: Rowing has made me sacrifice a lot of things. The most obvious sacrifice is simply time. Crew (rowing) was the first sport I competed in that took up a significant portion of my time (a minimum of 18 hours a week), so I don’t get a lot of time to myself or to spend with friends because I have to get all of my work done on time. I have also had to sacrifice taking some harder courses at school, because I realize that I simply don’t have time to take 4 or 5 AP courses and succeed (Nevertheless, I have settled on 3 APs both junior and senior year). Despite the sacrifice, I don’t regret becoming a rower, because in a lot of ways, crew has given back to me to make up for a lot of the sacrifices.
Q: When did you first start rowing?
A: “I first started rowing the summer before eighth grade; however, age restrictions kept me from joining the team until I was in high school. Therefore, I did not begin rowing competitively on the Los Gatos team until the summer before freshman year.”
Q.) What kinds of competitions have you competed in? Have you had to travel anywhere for them?
A.) “There are two main types of races in crew: head races and sprints. In head races, crews race 5 kilometers against the clock and whoever gets the best time wins. The more common race, however, is the sprint, which is only 2 kilometers. Sprints take place head to head between 2 to 8 boats, and generally they are much more competitive than head races because the rowers can actually see the other boats as they go down the race course. Sprints hurt so much that sometimes rowers can’t walk after completing them. There are a few regattas that I have to travel to every year. San Diego holds a very big regatta that I attend every year, and this year I got to go to Boston to compete in the Head of the Charles, which is the biggest head race in the country.”
Q.) Did you make any good friends through rowing?
A.) “I have always been one of the only rowers that went to Leigh, and this year I am the only Leigh student that still rows for LGRC (Los Gatos Rowing Club). Since I didn’t know anybody from school, I made entirely new friendships when I started rowing. The bonds I have made with my teammates is incredible considering I have known some of them for only a year or two, but something about going through terrible pain side-by-side every day at practice can form a strong bond quickly between people.”
Q.) What was your most memorable part of rowing?
A.) “I have had a lot of great memories rowing, so it is difficult to pick just one that stands out to me. Overall, I would say that my most memorable moments have been at regattas (races). I tend to get a lot of time to bond with my team at races, and we also travel to venues all over the country, so I get to experience different parts of the country. Furthermore, I tend to have very memorable experiences at regattas, such as dancing in front of hundreds of people, getting sick, and getting injured (there are, of course, stories to accompany these anecdotes, but for the sake of saving space I won’t elaborate. Just trust me in that they are all fairly entertaining).”