Every year I’m shocked by how fast the spring flies by, especially after the winter of hitting the ergs and ski trails. We’re already almost at the end of March with less than four weeks until our first major test of the 2014 season at the first National Selection Regatta in Princeton, NJ. Hard to believe that it was barely three weeks ago that I hung up my skis for the winter (although with all the snow coming down back home maybe I’ll get a chance to bring them back out!). Here’s a bit of a photo montage from the end of our winter training and the first few weeks on the water in Clemson, SC.
There’s nothing to make you more excited to be done with winter training than a 2k test and a VO2 max test. Our last week in Craftsbury was packed full with assessments to see how effective our training has been. It’s definitely good to see that a winter of skiing can pay off, with some good PR’s and physiological data for the squad.
It’s pretty surreal to go down to the boathouse in the winter, seeing the boats surrounded by snow is a bit unusual but definitely gets us excited to get back on the water.
The drive down to Clemson was actually much the same as last year, for some of us this is a great chance to stop and visit our parents on the way down the east coast.
We also got to watch the thermometer steadily climb on the drive down, by the time we made it to Clemson it was a balmy 70 degrees and sunny, a great way to start the trip.
We were all pretty excited to hit the water again, even Dan has gotten in on the action once in a double with Steve. From Dan “Getting back in a boat reminded me how simple rowing is, and how much I dislike wake and cross-winds” Preach! Even Steve was optimistic: “If there was a world championships of rowing at a 14….we would stand half a chance.”
Getting back on the water means a return to callused hands, a fight which it seems like as hard as you try your hands always lose at first.
We’re super lucky to be able to row out of the Clemson boathouse where I am currently poaching internet, but it also gives us a chance to help out at some of the college races. I’ve always wanted to help with the stakeboats at the start, these are the people who hold the sterns of the boats before the start and keep everything even. My dad would always do it for our high school races and I had never been on that end of the event. Especially now that we’re in small boats without coxswains, it’s easy to forget how loud and fun the start of a race can be. While our own races are a few weeks away, it was great to get close to the action and remember what we’re training for.
Even on a training trip there’s a little more to it than just the training. We keep busy in between practices at our awesome housing. The house I’m in right now has a foosball table that Kyle Lafferty may be reigning champion of although Peter Graves is giving him a run for his money. There’s also some Jenga and a great movie collection that we’re doing our best to get through (name a movie better than Titanic, so far we can’t).
Last year I ended up doing an event for charity in Oklahoma to raise money for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldricks program. While I did it on a bit of a whim last year, it was inspiring to see so many people there for a really good cause. Watching mothers last year shave a full head of hair with their kids who were either cancer survivors or fighters sitting on their lap made me want to do it again this year to help them and others like them. Knowing that I was going to shave my head I enlisted the help of some of the girls on the team here to dye my hair green the day before the event. The before and after are here, check it out:
We also took a trip to Greenville, SC over the weekend to keep things fresh and see the city. I had never been here before but it really was worth the trip, especially on a beautiful warm day.
We’re coming to the end of the third week here, with a little less than four weeks to go until the first NSR. As we’ve gotten through the beginning stages of adapting the bodies to the water and the boats the next few weeks are the real meat of the camp where lineups will get decided and we put the work in to bring the most speed possible on race day. Stay tuned here to catch all the action and enjoy the snow back North!