My name is Colton Schreur, and while I am a Michigan native, I am relatively new to the Traverse City region. I grew up in Hudsonville, and really my only familiarity with this area came from family camping trips near the Sleeping Bear Dunes while I was growing up. Though even from those short trips I knew Traverse City and Northern Michigan had a special claim to a beautiful natural environment, of which water is a big part.
I moved to Traverse City after graduating from a small college in Northwest Iowa, and while I hold nothing against the state of Iowa, the abundance once again of trees, rivers, and lakes was a pleasant change for me. Come winter though I needed something to keep me active, and when I couldn’t find the same level or abundance of indoor soccer that I was accustomed to, I logically turned to a sport that I knew absolutely nothing about. I have always enjoyed kayaking, and I figured rowing couldn’t be that different. Turns out it’s completely different. There’s even a different name for the paddle. But it is equally fun, and probably ten times more mentally challenging. I started rowing with TACR on the indoor erg machines last fall, and throughout the winter I learned that it requires you to both work your entire body and to be constantly thinking about your body’s positioning. The workouts were fun, but the hope of getting out on a lake in a boat really kept me coming back, and that was without realizing how much more nuanced it would get.
After being in a boat as often as I could this summer I’ve definitely experienced this nuance first hand, but the complexity and the effort required is what made it fun. And thankfully the TACR group has accepted me and even challenged me to try some things that I didn’t think I could do. The highlight perhaps was the opportunity to learn how to scull, and to practice in a single. I had a lot of fun figuring it out, and gained a lot of confidence in only a few hours. Even despite tipping over very early on. But the water is what makes it real, so getting wet on occasion helps you remember that and gives you a perfect opportunity to be grateful for the sport and the beautiful area we get to enjoy it.
And I’m looking forward to another year to come!