Years later Creighton would move to Washington and have a family. In 2013 her daughter, Frances, joined Sammamish Rowing Association (SRA) and piqued Creighton’s interest in the sport. She said, “my daughter had started as a novice so I did Learn To Row (LTR). I’ve always done sports, but at 5’2” I had never thought of my height as a competitive disadvantage. Luckily my fellow rowers have welcomed me ,and I’ve found my vertical disadvantage can be overcome with hard work and and a good sense of humor.” As someone who loves the outdoors, she also enjoys how immersed in nature the sport is. “On a cold and wet day, when you come off the water soaking wet, we have our beautiful and warm boathouse to come back to”
For three years Creighton was on the mid-morning team, but switched to sculling because it seemed like the right fit for her light weight. SRA has four masters teams so adult members are able to row on the team that best fits their schedule. The teams are known as 5AM, Mid-Morning, Evening Competitive Masters (ECM), and Sculling.
“Rowing anchors my life now,” Creighton commented. Her daughter is off to college at Washington State, but Creighton and her husband Mark share responsibility for managing care for their son with a profound disability. “It’s a tough aspect of my life and it is really nice for me to have something I can count on. At SRA I am with people who make me laugh and bring me joy, which makes it easier to cope with these things.” SRA provides around 2 hours of practice time for our adults. During that time all concerns outside of the boathouse are forgotten and your focus is completely in the boat or on the erg.
Another draw to rowing is the longevity of involvement in the sport. At SRA we have rowers ranging in ages twelve to eighty! Since it is a low impact sport, many people find it to be a great alternative to the sports they used to enjoy but can no longer do for fear of injury. “It’s been really fun to see the people who are ahead of us to keep us going,” Creighton said. She looks up to older rowers and is excited to continue pursuing the sport she loves.
With her years of experience, Creighton had some final advice for new rowers. “Show up,” she said. “When you’re starting something new it can be hard to feel competent, but if you commit to showing up and participating with the team, it makes a big difference. Recognize that there could be people there that might be more serious than you are or better, but make it your own journey.” She also hopes that new members can appreciate how lucky we are with our Hod Fowler Boathouse, completed in 2016. Years of dedicated fundraising from rowers and their families have made it a reality for all new rowers to SRA to enjoy.
SRA is lucky to have members like Ann Creighton who light up our boathouse and add positive energy to their boats. Ann takes times to appreciate all aspects of our sport from the intricacies of technique to the simple wildlife viewings during practice. She can turn an unfortunate moment into a positive new outlook, and she enjoys the laughter she shares with teammates and friends. Thank you Ann for being a ray of sunshine at SRA even when skies are grey.