I transferred schools, partly because of professionally, I wanted the Stanford collegiate experience for academics, which I think was excellent — not to say Northwestern's any slouch as far as a department, but Stanford is known for being exceptional. But it also has year-round rowing and has a varsity team. Once I made the college team, the Olympics didn't creep in my mind until I went to a pretty silly competition called an indoor rowing race, which is simply a bunch of erg machines wired together electronically and you do a virtual race to tell you who's pulling hardest on their machine. You have a big projector screen where they put all the competitors, and they try to fly in people from all over the world. They have an annual competition where they try to get everyone to compete on these machines, it's called C.R.A.S.H.-B. — unfortunately a competition that was originally started as a joke, but it's become a tongue-in-cheek serious athletic competition. The U.S. rowing team often sends several members, people that are in training full time , to just go in the competition to boost the rowing community and people that are training for it, and to show off their ability to pull hard and perform on command and be ready for a race. It's the middle of winter and there's not much rowing at that time anyway. I went to that competition my first year at Stanford and I won it. I beat all the guys who were already on the national rowing team — and they're not taking it as seriously as they are their other races — but at the same time it showed that I was at least as strong as the guys that were already on the national team. I said, "Wait a minute, maybe I should try out for this. Maybe I do have a shot."