Three days into winter training is just enough time for the initial excitement of being in a warmer climate and back with friends to wear off and the reality that we’re here to work to set in. We spent about five hours on the water today, but the lethargy that normally takes over the team during this part of the trip hasn’t arrived.

The biggest difference this year verses years past is our team’s determination to squeeze every last bit of productivity out of this water time. Thanks to our brutal Wisconsin winters, we are stuck inside on erg waiting for Lake Mendota to thaw until late spring. Having this opportunity to be in Florida, rowing in the sunshine is incredible.

I describe it as “incredible” now, but I know that that’s probably not the adjective I’ll use in a day or two. Winter training trip is a roller coaster. This morning’s row in the eight felt smooth fast and I had a great time in a pair with one of my best friends during our second morning practice. Tomorrow there are forecasted to be high winds, the water will probably be bad and who knows, my row could go horribly. I’ve had some of the worst experiences of my rowing career on this annual trip, but I’ve also had some of the best.

This is my senior year and final training trip in Cocoa Beach. In preparation, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly of Cocoa over the years and how we could best take advantage of this time. As I erged alone in my basement, I decided that no matter how tired I got, how badly my hands blistered, or however seat racing went, no part of training in Florida with my team could be as bad as erging alone in my basement. I thought about how quickly this year is going to go and I decided that I am not throwing away my final shot.

This afternoon when I was tired and reluctant to get back on the water I reminded myself of how lucky we are to be here. I’m happy to be rowing with my team again, I’m excited to see the gains I know we’ll make over the next week and I am pumped for Taco Tuesday.

So on day three it’s so far, so good. We’re having fun, we’re taking a lot of naps, we’re watching more HGTV than my mom would think is healthy and we’re getting in a lot of strokes on the water. I’m looking forward to good rows, bad rows and ultimately a stellar season for the team.

On Wisconsin!


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