Spring Training 2015: Day 1


Elliott Sarich ’16 (Varsity Men)

Major: Electrical Engineering

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Today, March 8th, was the first day of our yearly spring break trip to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is my 6th trip to Tennessee for rowing and I have to say, every time I’ve been here has been completely different. It’s a great change of pace to go from doing nothing but erging and hiding from Milwaukee’s nasty weather for months at a time to finally getting in a boat again, and having a little bit of sun and heat.

Waking up at 6:30 (as opposed to our usual 4AM wake up call for practice) made me feel like a million bucks. Although the novice probably do not agree with me, we all managed to wake up and load up the van to drive down to the course. In my head, it was just going to be another practice with a few new faces, a new setting and nothing to do all day but think about rowing and enjoy the “break” from school. We were all a little bit rusty from the long drive the day before, but warming up with a quick jog and a few other things helped get us physically and mentally ready for the day. All of my expectations for this trip went right out the window as soon as we sat down in our boat and pushed away from the dock. Our first practice went well, but about halfway through, it was very apparent that everyone was exhausted from the day before. The steady-state rowing we did was a great way to get out some initial jitters but was tougher than expected.

Everything seemed like it did a 180 during the second practice of the day. Everyone was in a much better mood and practice just felt much smoother. Even our two brand new novice rowers looked and felt better. The fear and dread that came from the morning was gone now and we can all turn our focus to the reason we are here: to become better rowers and athletes for our team and for ourselves.

Now I know right now, as I sit in my room writing this, our coach is sitting in her room next door laughing maniacally about what we have to do tomorrow. I think getting into the rhythm of the day today will be the hardest part of our trip and whatever is thrown at us during the week, should be a lot better as it progresses.  I hope we can all keep having a good time while we learn a lot about ourselves, others and the sport that we put a lot of time into. I can say without a doubt that I’m really excited for the days to come and hope for nothing but the best.

“Life is not so much about beginnings and endings as it is about going on and on and on. It is about muddling through the middle.” Anna Quindlen

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