Gold Medal!

This past weekend the Austin Rowing Club hosted one of the biggest regattas of the year: The Head of the Colorado Regatta or the PumpkinHead regatta. I’ve been training once a week with the ThundOARS and they’ve been a fantastic group. While I only practiced with them once a week I did practice with other teams. Sometimes it was my own team the G.I.ROWS or other teams like OARmageddon or Sweeping Beauty. All of the names in many of crews across the country are funny plays on words that have to do with rowing.

My secret favorite is a tie between the Crack Oars and The Rebel OARliance. I’m way too much of a Star Wars nerd to let that one pass me by. When the race entries were finalized we realized that there were only two crews in our heat. Us and Motley crew.

Motley Crew and Thundoars!

Motley Crew and Thundoars!

Pre-race jitters? No way!

Pre-race jitters? No way!

We’re in the Grey shirts and Motley is in black.

So we both get up the start and because it’s a rolling start race we started about 30 seconds before Motley so we had to watch them behind us the whole time.

If you’re new to rowing you should know we sit backwards in the boat, the coxswain (the little person at the front/back of the boat is the only one who can see where we’re headed) can’t see who’s behind us so we’re the only ones who know how close the other team is getting. IMG_20131026_154905_963If you count from the front of the boat back I’m the fourth rower.

During the race

During the race

These great pics were taken by a friend of our crew. He’s a runner and he stopped on a bridge just to cheer us as we went past! Thanks for the pics Dhumal!

While our Coxswain is coaching us through the race we have to give everything for those 20 mins to work and face the consequences of another boat gaining on us if we don’t. I’ll tell you now, the fear that you have when you think a competitor is gaining on you is enough to drive that extra 5% 10% or whatever percent you still have left in your legs/arms/brain to make sure they don’t win. It’s an amazing experience all around and a full on rush every time.

I’ve never won a medal with any team sport. I’ve won lots of races by myself but I’ve never been a great team-player. Since I’ve gotten a little longer in the tooth I am finally learning that teams don’t have to be a negative experience. This was the most fun, professional, and awesome team I’ve ever been a part of. They also Kick-Ass. That and a combination of great Coxing, thanks to Ginger, we made a helluva team.

In a race with only two participants only one gets a medal, and from the title of this blog I’m sure you can guess which place we came in.

Celebratory Medals!

Celebratory Medals!

Post race drinks!

Post race drinks!

Full Disclosure: I love French Bulldogs. One of the crew members, Lucy, has two and she promised that she’d take a picture of the medal on her pups. So here it is, it totally made my night.

photo 2

OMG TOO CUTE!!

OMG TOO CUTE!!

The ears! I can’t get enough.

As a side note the Capt. of the Crew, Rebecca, is a friggin all-star. She’s always up-beat, on-time and sassy. I hope my crew thinks I’m half the awesome capt. she is. 🙂

I LOVE ROWING.

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