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Novice Gets Caught in a Pickle

Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 2.21.03 PM

Taken from video by Megan Smith

The novices have been practicing rowing all eight the past couple weeks. Rowing without a pair sitting out helps the women focus on handle-heights to set the boat with blades off the water.


By Madison Simon

Novice Rower

When Novice Coach Smitty (Megan Smith) called out names for last Monday’s lineups, and I heard “Madison and Larice [Pelzer]” called before the word, “pickle,” I was caught off guard. I wasn’t quite sure if I heard her correctly, but yes, I did. [The Pickle is the name of one of the team’s pairs. It’s recognized for its easter-green color.]

To be honest, I’ve got A LOT to learn when it comes to rowing, especially out on the water. Not once did rowing in a pair cross my mind, since I don’t even consider myself close to being 100% comfortable rowing in an eight. Well, things happen for a reason, and I didn’t complain. So, the Pickle was to be in my near future.

I’m not one to get stressed out over small things, but when I heard how easily those pairs flip, I was a little intimidated.

Another fun fact, it was only Larice’s second time in the pair. Awesome.

Despite all this, I was able to ease the tension, and I found rowing in the Pickle to be very enjoyable. Sending a big thank you to Larice, who was a great coach and super fun team mate to row with.

It was definitely an enjoyable learning experience. I was able to better feel how my movements affected the boat. With more pressure on me to propel it forward, I now understand the importance of pushing with my legs, and as a result, the slow recovery became my best friend, since we couldn’t switch pairs within the boat to rest. Being there are only two people in a pair, it’s required that both rowers actually row with force, and at the same pressure. That was a challenge, but also a skill we needed in order to make sure the boat moves in a straight.

Another great lesson: handle heights! I now understand how important it is to keep the handles leveled, so that the boat doesn’t rock back and forth, or flip completely if it’s a pair we’re talking about.

The overall experience was beneficial. I learned more than I expected, and had a great time. I’m definitely glad to have been one of the first novice rowers who got stuck in a pickle.


Click the link below to see a video of the women’s novices’ progress! Video taken by Megan Smith.

Novice 8