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When I am My Worst Enemy

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Photo by Evan Mauno

Varsity rowers Cecilia Guerrero and Ariana Gastelum finish the Newport Chase in November 2014.


By Ariana Gastelum

Commands are what discipline a rower. Coaches and coxswains must tell us to do something, and that’s what pushes us. But what about when they’re not around during the summer? Who is going to tell me to use my legs? Who is going to tell me to negative split on the next piece? The answer is me…but a rower without a coxswain feels like being stranded on a boat without an oar.

As a Long Beach native, I am incredibly fortunate to have access to the Recreation and Wellness Center at Long Beach State as well as the boathouse in Marine Stadium to use over break. However, it’s up to me to set an alarm, get dressed and get over there.

Head coach Ian Simpson has given the women’s team tools that will keep us in shape over the summer. He devised a packet with erg and core workouts along with a sheet telling us what splits we should be hitting based on our best 2k times. In addition, Simpson organizes a 2-hour boot-camp session every Tuesday and Thursday that we are welcome to join. He also makes it very clear that if we don’t stay in shape, there will be consequences.

Even with all this help, some still manage to lose their physical strength. Since we are no longer obligated to meet at 5:30am, we lose contact with each other, and we lose sight of our long-term goals.

Thanks to Alex Savage, Ranita Ram, Sam McFeely and Brad McCormick, I’ve managed to overcome the desire to turn off my alarm and go back to bed. All it takes is a simple text-message conversation that confirms we will meet up and complete our daily workout.

Because we are a team, we motivate each other. When we do succeed, we will all be in that boat together from the start to the finish. So who is going to tell me to work hard? I am…with the encouragement of my awesome teammates.