A Week Alone: Emily’s Qualification Quest

January 15th– January 21st: These last days of winter break were some of my best days alone on the lake. Even though the wind did pick up again, I knew the lake better and where I could find calm water even if the wind was close to 30 mph. Having the confidence in a boat where I was finally comfortable in really helped and made training a lot more enjoyable.

NRC Morley-004A good friend of mine reminded me that every day is a new opportunity to have a great practice. He said that yes, it is ok to be upset about a previous practice but instead of letting it consume you, to use it as fuel to work hard for the next practice. The saying he used was “This is it.” So everyday when I put the boat in the water during this period of training alone I would tell myself those three words.
I had to come back to Ithaca a little earlier than expected because of the snowstorm that was hitting the cities where my connecting flights would be. These couple of days allowed me to have days back in Ithaca to get situated and hang out with people before my last semester of college.

Along with the individuals that Becky thanked earlier on in the blog I would also like to thank a few other people. Ashley Lowe, for the amazing sports massage and my dad for supporting me through the 5 weeks of me being exhausted, hungry (all the time) and motivating me to get up during those early morning practices by myself. Lastly, Becky Robinson for taking a week out of her winter break to come down to the Bahamas and help me become a more confident and competitive single sculler. ~ Emily Morley

Becky’s Visit: Emily’s Qualification Quest

January 7th– January 14th: Becky arrived midday on a Thursday and we went straight to the lake. The first couple of days we did not have a launch so the workouts were a lot of short pieces where she could see me from the dock where I was launching from. Every day we had double sessions, a morning practice where the workouts consisted of timed pieces, then followed by an hour or so where we would go explore and find somewhere to eat lunch, then the second practice would normally be an hour of technique. One day we had a macaw join us for lunch.

IMG_0910This week was probably one of the hardest, emotional and physically exhausting week I’ve ever experienced. Every day there was a new hiccup, that we named “Challenge of the day”, but we also overcame every challenge even if there were some tears (from me) along the way. Every day I learned how to motivate myself through positive talk and mentally became tougher as the week went on.

It was a lot of rowing, but having someone’s eyes on me the whole week made me more accountable of the workouts and I could tell I was getting technically better as each day passed. Having Becky come down and coach me also changed my mindset on this whole experience. Before, Chile seemed very far in the future and not something I should focus all my attention on, but during this week I was constantly thinking about what I will have to do to mentally and physically be ready for March 22nd.      ~ Emily Morley


Jennie’s View: Emily’s Qualification Quest

As if going to the Bahamas wasn’t already an incredible vacation, just think about spending a week in paradise with your two best friends and teammates. Jackie and I arrived in the sunny, 80 degree weather on December 28th and left January 4th. We took Emily’s boat to an island called Highbourne Cay, about 2 ½ hours away from Nassau. We spent 5 days on this beautiful private island and took the opportunity to workout every morning before it got too hot (and let’s be honest, so that we could have most of the day free for Bahamian escapades). By 7:30 AM, our hearts were pumping as we completed two 20 minute runs and one 20 minute erg piece, switching off so that two people were always running while one was erging. FollowingIMG_4509 our workout, we would jump in the crystal clear, refreshing ocean and get ready for a day filled with adventures. Regardless of what we were doing, it was always active; whether it be walking along the beach, diving deep to find sand dollars, or trying out our balance on the Maui Mat (a large floating mat anchored to the floor of the ocean). Besides experiencing all of the native Bahamian traditions and ringing in the New Year together, Jackie and I were so grateful we were able to train alongside Emily to keep her motivated throughout her training. Everyone who has done any sort of erg piece before (and I’m assuming most of you have if you’re reading this blog) has needed some sort of motivation and encouragement during the piece to not give up and keep pushing past those mental limits. Before we headed down, I reached out to my teammates to ask for encouraging videos or sayings for Emily to keep her strong on her journey to the Olympics. Even just a small pat on the back or gruntled “here we go” during a workout can go such a long way. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to visit the Bahamas and train alongside not only my best friends, but the best competitors I know. There is never a dull moment with Emily, Jackie, and I around and I’m so glad we were able to bring our high energy and fun spirit to the Bahamas to create a supportive atmosphere for Emily. So proud of you, Em, and excited to see what the future holds!

Jennie Peterson

Jackie’s Perspective: Emily’s Qualification Quest

Jennie and I landed in Nassau on December 28th, and within a couple of hours had already boarded Emily’s dad’s boat for a 5-day adventure. Because snorkeling and running away from wild pigs wouldn’t really count as a workout, we made sure we woke up early each morning to do a workout. We did a pretty similar workout a couple of days (20 minutes run, 20 minutes erg, 20 minutes run) and then did Tabata in place of our lifts that we were missing. We did each workout absorbing the Bahamas: runs on the beach, erg pieces on the boat facing the ocean, and Tabata in a beachside hut. Every time the three of us workout (no matter where we are!) we manage to have fun and be giggly while getting some good work in.
When I left for the BahamIMG_1821as, my whole family joked saying that they didn’t believe that we would workout at all while on vacation. But, all three of us knew without anyone really having to say it, how great of an opportunity it was that we could all be together working to make each other stronger.  After our first workout – when Jennie and I nearly passed out because of the heat (who would have thought it would be SO hot in December!) – we all agreed that having teammates training right next to us made each of us want to push that much harder.  I am so completely proud of Emily, and am so lucky to get to be a part of her journey!

Jackie McDevitt

Photo: left to right – Jackie, Emily and Jennie

Jennie and Jackie Visit- Emily’s Qualification Quest

December 28th– January 4thIMG_7995

When Jackie and Jennie arrived I knew my training would be a lot more entertaining and I would be a lot more motivated.

Instead of rowing in my single we did a sequence of stations, two running stations and one where we erged. We were off the main island of Nassau and docked at Highbourne Cay while staying on my dad’s boat, Sweet Peace. Knowing that everyday we would go on an adventure for the whole day we would get up early to complete our workout, jump in the ocean to cool off and then spend the rest of our days at the beach.
If anyone has ever seen Jackie, Jennie and I together they know that it is always filled with being goofy outside of practice, but focused and competitive with each other during practice. Having them visit me during this week not only made training a lot easier, but it reminded me that my teammates are one of my biggest supporters. They are the ones that are looking at me to perform at my best, while they working their best as well.



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