There are a few seminal events that happen in a person’s lifetime that can change their entire trajectory. Trying out for the crew team at the end of my freshman year at Ithaca was one of those moments. Freshman year was largely a blur, having come out of an all boys boarding school at Avon with pretty strict rules on dress code , appearance, study time, and daily routines. I now found myself in an environment that was almost the complete opposite. Nobody to remind you when to get up, when to turn out the lights, when to study or eat, or what to wear. Even attending classes was up to me. So much freedom that first year in college and I had a lot of difficulty getting focused. Enter crew. All the discipline I had learned at Avon came to my rescue as I discovered the sport of crew and the incredible effort and focus required. It was just what I needed. I found athletics. I found sportsmanship. I found teamwork. I found camaraderie. I found heart-pumping, anaerobic, endorphin-releasing effort. I found my passion. I found my sanctuary. Sports, crew, rowing rescued me. The final three years of college flew by. My grades recovered. My crew friendships blossomed. My self-esteem grew. One of my college crewmates and good friend Dan stayed on at Ithaca after graduation and went on to coach the program, now along with his wife Becky, into a a division III powerhouse. They are still coaching today. Two years ago Dan invited me and a number of college crewmates to come back to Ithaca for a reunion, and for a dedication of a new 8 person shell named after me. It was quite an honor, and was very humbled by the recognition. I was especially grateful to actually be able to get in the shell along with my other mates and go out for an easy row for 20 minutes. With help I managed to get in the shell and with some difficulty stay with the cadence of the others, and most importantly, not inadvertently eject myself from the shell. It was a tearful moment for me as we returned to the dock. Happy tears because it was another goal realized in my recovery, but just as significant and perhaps more a reminder of how the sport of crew changed my life. I owe my adult-life commitment to athletics to that day in spring 1976 when I first learned how to take a rowing stroke in the indoor rowing tanks at Cornell just across the valley from Ithaca College.