Jan. 10, 2010
Today we woke up at about 6:30 a.m. to freezing temperatures and pouring rain causing our morning row to be postponed. After sleeping in and on the edge of cabin fever we headed out in the afternoon. A mile from the course we bolted from the bus for our warm-up run. Part way in I opened my mouth for a breath only to catch some hail that was starting to come down. Eager to get to the course many of us picked up the pace a little.
Warmed up and committed to facing down the cold, sleet and wind we prepared to go on the water for a fast-paced competitive row. We went out in mixed 8+s of novice and varsity which was fun putting together the changes that each of us worked on the day before. I think being holed up this morning meant that we were all more than ready to race.
We rowed out into a canal that I really like that is mostly protected from the wind and has lots of Florida wildlife. At this point we let go of the conditions and gave over to the racing which we were doing by sixes. Rowing at the three seat I could see and feel the energy of our boat as we inched up on another 8+ and as we fought to regain inches on an 8+ that gained on us. Just before we spun the boats for our return row, five dolphins popped up curious to see what we were doing. On the inside I was squealing like a little kid as two of them came closer to our boat than any had the past days. They went under the water and came up behind us playfully swimming over each other. As we spun the boats I saw one flip its tail into the air as the dolphins swam away.
Leaving the canal and with all the 8+'s through the slender bridge, we did some rowing by sixes before breaking into some fun competition going all eight. Picking up the speed by 8+s was so much fun and very addictive. You get done with one piece and just want more - another chance to go fast, get the rhythm just right or gain on the eight next to you.