STORY BY ASHLEY BEALL
As I am sure you learned, when you live in Iowa, you have no idea what the weather is going to be like.
It could be beautiful with clear skies one day, and thunder-storming the next.
In an outdoor sport like rowing, that unknown can be pretty difficult.
Our ultimate goal is to get as much practice time on the water as possible, as nobody likes having to practice for rowing inside on ERG machines.
Being out on the water is always the clear choice.
However, it has been challenging lately because of the changing weather. Not only do we have to battle against the cold, but we also have to row through rough water conditions.
A fun fact about rowing is that we are not able to wear gloves to keep our hands warm. In fall weather conditions, this can create several problems.
We are allowed to wear tape on our hands for blisters, but that is about it.
Last Friday was one of the hardest practices of my life. It was incredibly windy, freezing cold and the choppiest waters we have rowed in a while.
Our coach wanted to do a head race with all of our boats, which included all the pairs, which in windy conditions can be difficult because they are so easily swayed around on the water.
Nobody wants to be the boat that flips into the water. Thankfully, that did not happen, even though we came close multiple times
It is practices like Friday that challenge us to become mentally and physically stronger. Not all of our boats were able to reach the finish line of the three-mile course because of the winds and currents fighting against us.
Regardless, we all tried to fight through it and not let up. We need to have these reminders once in a while. If we want to be the best, we have to be ready for whatever challenge we face.
Our coach reminded us after practice and told us that these types of weather conditions are something that we, would potentially have to race in.
That is why we practice in such terrible conditions, to prepare ourselves for anything come race day.
Our next race is not until Oct. 18th at the Jayhawk Jamboree at Kansas and we need to use every minute of water time that we can to continue improving.
Even if the weather continues the way it was last week, we need to keep pushing toward perfection, no matter what we face along the way.