On The Water: Emily’s Qualification Quest

When I received a text from Becky before a practice on Wednesday telling me to bring clothes to both erg and row, I almost didn’t believe her. But, when I arrived at the boathouse that afternoon the mid-weight single was off the racks to be rigged and Becky was on the dock putting a launch into the unfrozen inlet. The first day out on the Ithaca inlet was a 10k steady state where I changed the rates and shook out my nerves for being in a different boat in a different location. I was quickly reminded I wasn’t on Lake Cunningham in the Bahamas when lauIMG_0998nching from the dock was my challenge of the day. I shoved off the dock and my single went no where, making me pull my oar in and shakily push myself from the dock. Very different from my wet launches on Lake Cunningham. 

The following days my teammate Jennie Peterson joined me in a double, where we did a technique row and a day where we did hard pieces. It was so nice to get on the water with someone else in a boat with me. Jennie and I row really well together, even though our strokes have their own unique touches to them. Rowing with Jennie showed me things that I needed to improve on (like quick hands out of bow), while also reassuring myself that my stroke was still efficient. Thanks, Jennie for coming out on warmer days, and absolutely freezing days to make me more technically fine-tuned and for all the hand squeezes out there in between pieces. 

Later on in the week Becky focused more on the start and being efficient in different parts of my race plan. The first step to that was doing one minute pieces out on the inlet with Chloe Lewis. IMG_1004She is a firecracker out of the start and gave me a run for my money. During this practice I learned what focuses I need to think about during my start, which I consider one of the most hectic parts of the race, but a part that you need to get down to set you up for a good rest of your race. 

The second step to the focus of being efficient in every part of the race was going out in singles and doing 500m pieces against Beth. Yes, Beth Greene. Going into practice I had no expectations, I just knew I had to row my piece and stick to my race plan, and do anything to beat her. Warming up next to her she beat me off the starts every time, but I didn’t let that shake me up. During the first piece she beat me off the start but then I ended up passing her in the last 300m and every piece after that we modified so I could competitively push myself to beat her. It showed me that going into a piece not knowing the outcome does not have to be intimidating, rather a challenge to overcome by knowing that if I put all my technique and drive into my strokes then I can pull a good piece for myself. 

Unfortunately the inlet is now frozen over, but even with those five days on the water I could feel myself getting technically better.  ~Emily Morley


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