It’s been a crazy two months since three of the lightweights from the GRP joined up with the USRowing training center in OKC but we’re about to meet up with some of the group again here in New Jersey for the second National Selection Regatta. Here’s some pictures from since the last time we were all in Craftsbury.
It was definitely a surreal feeling loading up the trailer while navigating snow drifts that had built up to waist level at least down by the boathouse but also exciting to get back to the sport that we’re here for. Packing for a ten-week trip can also be a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to fit everybody and their stuff in the least amount of space possible. We made it work though, even if it was a bit tight.
We were able to split the trip up into three days on the way down which made a huge difference. Lucky for us there were three families to visit on the way so we got to enjoy some home cooking and great hospitality on the way down. My dad also led us on a evening tour of the monuments in DC which is always great.
We got to Clemson in one piece and settled in to get the kinks sorted out after a winter spent mostly cross country skiing. It was gratifying to see how much the fitness translated from the one sport to the other and Clemson had a great environment for training. After only ten days there though we rented a car to drive out to OKC for what we expected to be around a ten-day visit there at the national team training center. On the way we got to stop at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Hotel Lorraine in Memphis to see the site of the Martin Luther King Jr assassination.
Training full-time at this level means being flexible and ready for anything. We weren’t really sure how long we were going to be in Oklahoma or where we would be staying, but still had to be ready to row in any seat in any boat as we got to work. Luckily I packed light, with a backpack and a duffel bag for what would end up being around two months at the training center.
The Devon boathouse where the USRowing training center is definitely a style of its own with a very modern feel and some cool training tools. It can feel a bit space-age sometimes with it’s high altitude chamber and metal spiral staircase, stark contrast to the open-air boathouse at Craftsbury.
We got a chance to get out a bit and experience the city itself which actually had a lot to offer. You can tell that the energy companies setting up shop in the city are working hard to rehabilitate the city’s image and to get new, young people to come and enjoy living there. On a beautiful day after the OKC memorial marathon we stopped by the Oklahoma City Arts festival and got to take in the city.