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My Search for Purpose

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(Left to right) Sydney Abad, Kelsey Davis, Alexandra Savage, Cecilia Guerrero, Rikki Oden, Maria Guardiola, Ariana Gastelum and Penelope Gallardo along with coxswain Sarah Dresser (not pictured) did a series of pieces targeted to improve squaring up early, control of power and timing among each pair.


By Ariana Gastelum

Varsity Rower

I was NOT motivated for our first week of practice the week before school started. Nope, I did not look forward to waking up early, mending fresh blisters, not achieving desirable split times on the erg and the pain. So much pain. I remember trying to roll out on the first day of practice after pulling two 3500-meter pieces and five one-minute sprints. Sweat and yes, some tears, streamed down my face. I thought, why am I even here?

However, I wasn’t the only one there. In fact, almost the entire team was there, suffering with me. And the next day, approximately the same number of girls came again.

“Hell Week” consisted of two practices per day. This included rowing, erging, running, stretching and core strengthening.

Although the muscle soreness was unavoidable, I grew more excited for every practice. I could feel my body re-familiarize itself with technique…arms away, body forward, square up early, reach for the catch, back the blade in and DRIVE! I felt like myself again.

Better yet, I was sharing this feeling with my teammates who had been there the entire week. And after the first time all of our blades were off the water, I felt connected to everyone’s mind in that boat. I know why I am here. I am here to row, to improve and to WIN.

Click links below to see what we looked like!

Women’s V8 Summer Practice

Women’s V8 Practice P2

Videos by Megan Smith