This blog is about my life as a rower and college student! Its a tough balancing act but its worth it to be able to participate in a sport I love and be part of a really fun group of people. Here’s a little bit about me!
My Rowing Story
I joined the club rowing team at the University of Pittsburgh my second semester freshman year. I felt like I really didn’t fit in with the group of friends I had at the time and wanted to be part of a group. I also found myself interested in something to keep me fit and push me to become an athlete. I high school I played tennis but rowing was a whole new level of fitness for me. When I started out I SUCKED. I was terrible. I picked up the stroke very slowly and pulled an 8:40 2k…yeah. I barely made the novice eight, being put in 3 seat after the girl who was originally supposed to row there quit. When I came back my sophomore year not much had changed. I was put in the heavy women’s eight (on our team the fours are our top boats) and rowed that in the fall. In the winter I made some improvement, pulling an 8:15 (still horrifyingly bad…).
In the spring I was SHOCKED to be put in the heavy women’s four. We did pretty badly but we did not come in DFL as we had expected. Being in this boat taught me that I had some sort of potential…I just had to work harder to find it. That summer I took out a single from a local boat club back in my hometown a few times a week as well as undertaking a rigorous cross training schedule. My experiences in the single were not coached, just me paddling the river. It was relaxing and fun, and at the very least helped me maintain my fitness and feel for the stroke. I also biked, ran, and lifted the other days of the week.
When I came back that fall I immediately pulled a pretty big PR on my 6k and was put in the heavy four for practice most days. I was seat raced for the four and made it. Our boat in the fall was much better that the one the previous spring and we came together as a unit as the season progressed. We were confident we could do well going into Head of the Charles. That race we got off to a great start, we were really moving, passing boats left and right. However before we even hit the halfway mark we got hit by another boat in our race costing us upwards of 45 seconds and putting us from a probable 4th or 5th place into 15th…just good enough to hold onto our bid for next year. A discouraging race to say the least. The rest of the season was full of middle of the pack finishes.
I was excited for this year’s winter training and rightfully so. I finally got my shit together and got fit. By the middle of the season I had pulled a 2:03.3 6k (pretty much my 2k split from the previous year) and was confident about my potential for a good 2k. My goal was to break 7:40 but I fell short with a 7:43. Later in the winter I experienced some slight rib problems and following our spring break some not-so-slight knee problems. The spring season is now upon us and is more worrying than anything else. My injuries are frustrating me and the boat as a whole seems less cohesive than it was in the fall. However I am trying to remain positive and hoping for a fun season.
Rowing can be REALLY hard a lot of the time. But seeing improvement is so satisfying and the feeling of being in a boat, on the water, just going, cannot be replicated. I am grateful that I chose rowing as a sport and that it is such a big part of my life.
The people I met through the team are also amazing. All of my best friends are teammates and I consider the team to be my family here at Pitt. It is nice having a network of people who will always be around when you need them…and even when you don’t.
My Life Outside Rowing
Rowing is a big part of my life but it is not my WHOLE life. I am a junior at Pitt majoring in Anthropology and History. Post grad I am interested in pursuing a career in public heath. I also currently work about 10-15 hours per week. Working out 2x per day most days, working a job, and school makes for quite the hectic schedule. Its stressful sometimes but I like to stay busy. I my free time I like to watch movies, hang out with friends, sleeping, and eating. Seriously, if I have free time I’m most likely napping.