That is literally how this all began. I Googled “rowing+Hartford” and came across Riverfront Recapture. Therein began a journey that quickly turned my life upside down–or right-side up–depending on your perspective.
To be fair, my interest in rowing was born quite sometime earlier, 4-5 years to be more exact. I attended the wonderful and prestigious University of Virginia where I was a dual-sport athlete in Volleyball and Softball for a couple of years. After injury and realizing I also wanted time to experience some of the other enriching things college had to offer, I chose to finish the rest of my athletic career in just one sport, continuing in softball. As a tall (I’m about 6’0), athletic female wandering around on Grounds, it’s no surprise that the Women’s Varsity Rowing Coach, Kevin Sauer had always given me a hard time that I should quit playing around in the dirt and come try out the water. Perhaps part of me regrets not listening to him at the time, but the seed was planted.
After a short year and half stint working as a production assistant at the ESPNU production hub in Charlotte, North Carolina I found myself taking a promotion and change over to ESPN Programming, moving to the ESPN headquarters in Connecticut. As far as I knew, New England was the Rowing Mecca.
After a depressing winter of cold snow and ice, I was craving the outdoors, fierce competition and the camaraderie of the team environment I had come to know as a way of life…thus, the Google search. Prior to utilizing the powers of Google, I had begun screwing around on the ERG at the gym and realized 1. I liked it (weird, who likes the erg?) and 2. in my own humble, yet slightly egotistical way, felt that I could possibly “be good” at this rowing thing if I gave it a fair try.
So in July 2010, I ventured down to the Riverfront Recapture Boathouse and began my dance with sculling and the Connecticut River. After taking two 3-4 week sessions of sculling and then sweep rowing lessons, by late August I was recruited to the Riverfront Women’s Master’s Racing Team. After winning my first race in a quad–okay I admit it, I “crabbed” (when the oar catches the water funny or your hands slip…as if you “caught a crab” with your oar) a couple of times–I was hooked. It was the perfect formula: adrenaline, competition, an unbelievable workout (pulling a 2K is possibly the worst pain induced by physical exertion I’ve ever felt) and despite what some people may think, it is arguably “the team sport” of sports. Rowing quickly became an addiction, and in a short few months has become a large part of my everyday life.