Three lightweights from the Craftsbury GRP (Kyle, Phil, & Phil) left Vermont just before the massive snowfall and flew out to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. It is sandwiched between San Diego and Tijuana, only 10 miles from each, and we have already been warned about potential encounters with border patrol if we go off running by ourselves in the woods. Because it was designed as a distraction-free training site, the OTC has a somewhat isolated feel to it, but it has all the facilities and amenities an elite athlete would ever need. Aside from boats, oars, ergs and bikes, there is a full weight room with video analysis, a dining hall almost as good as the one at Craftsbury, and an athlete lounge with ping-pong, pool, an XBox 360, and Jumbling Tower (a blatant Jenga knockoff).
There are twelve lightweights here for the camp, 6 from the national team training center in Oklahoma City and 6 invited from elsewhere. This morning we did about 15k of steady-state and technique in straight fours, and if the weather holds up we will be back out there this afternoon. The next few days are a sort of a re-introduction to rowing, especially for those of us who haven’t been on the water since November, and next week we’ll get into the fun (race pace) stuff.
Aside from rowing, there are other sports represented here as well including field hockey, track and field, and soccer. We see them around training, in the dining hall, or the athlete lounge, where Kyle coincidentally ran into a girl he went to high school with – she is on the national field hockey team now and went to both the Beijing and London Olympic games.
It’s too bad we have to miss out on all the new snow, but we are definitely excited to be out on the water again and the warm weather is a nice change for now. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!
– Phil Henson, Kyle Lafferty, and Phil Grisdela