Home is Where You Hang Your Oars

Every rower has at least one thing in common. Other than pulling on one or two sticks and floating around in an expensive piece of carbon-fibre composite for a significant portion of our time, we all experience some sense of nomadism. It’s part of the job and an even more important part of pursuing the Dream.

A typical year will have you traveling across the country, first to a two to three-month training camp for the winter, back home for a few weeks, and then across the country again to compete at the National Trials in the Spring. You have another few weeks at home, which is just enough time to revive your water-deprived plants and put a hold on your mail. If you have a pet, they either hate you or have completely forgotten who you are. At this point you’ve just given up on the unpacking and packing charade and convinced yourself that living out of a suitcase is a skill you should continue to cultivate—even at home with your nice big closet and dresser of drawers. Now it’s time for the real fun: racing season. Maybe summer racing takes you to another country to compete at World Cups and then later, (of course, not before going back home first) to the World Championships. Or perhaps it sends you on the ultimate road trip, driving across the country to any and every regatta you can squeeze in. Regardless of your destination(s), it’s all for this crazy addiction we call a sport.

Following a month of competition and training in Europe, Ellen and I returned to train in Princeton, New Jersey. While Princeton still gets its share of heat and humidity, it’s nothing like the 100+ degrees (Fahrenheit) we’d be experiencing every day in Oklahoma City. We opted for the former to survive the remainder of the summer before heading to Amsterdam for the 2014 World Rowing Championships in just a few short weeks. When it’s all said and done, we will have spent less than three months over the past year in our actual apartment in OKC. I’m pretty sure at this point the house plants do hate us.

We’re no strangers to Princeton, having just moved to OKC from this quaint little college town last November. For the time that we are here, we’ve been lucky enough to take over the guest bedroom/office in the house that was once our home before we moved, catching up with our old roommate and fellow 2014 National Team member, Megan Kalmoe and her new roommate, Samantha Warren. It’s a happy home of four rowers sharing one tiny bathroom and little kitchen, but enough Netflix and HBO GO to keep everyone happy.

Despite the occasional chaos and headache that comes with always being on the road, the opportunity to meet different people, catch up with old friends, discover something new, and see the world from the seat of that expensive piece of carbon-fibre, is truly living the Dream.

Every Day Counts.

Oars_Otay Lakes

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