by Maggie Baert (CAS '16)
Fall semester is coming to a close and with it, winter training is upon us. As students, we are preparing for exams and writing final papers. As rowers, we are preparing for spring season and thinking about the day when we can finally get back on the water. In between, we face early mornings erging, running stairs, lifting, repeat. While we appreciate the break from the cold and avoiding the Lincoln Tunnel traffic on the way back from water practice, nothing beats being out on the water and seeing the sunrise. Training on the water is very different from facing the cinderblock wall behind the ergs.
There is nothing pretty about erging or weight training but, it’s the basis for our spring semester. There is little external motivation and, for many a time to build mental toughness. Some might assume it’s an off-season but, in reality, it’s the secret for spring preparation. We take with us what we learned in the fall, and we get ready for the next adventures and goals we set for ourselves.
This semester, we stayed on the water longer than usual, until the Friday before Thanksgiving break. We had an extra two weeks to practice drills and get extra meters in without worrying about racing lineups. But, the journey from Manhattan to Lyndhurst, NJ is over for now. Winter Training starts in November and continues until the end of March - - or until the river unfreezes. During these months, indoor workouts can become long and tiresome. However, with such an eventful and exciting fall season behind us, it’s hard to forget everything that we experienced and learned, both as a team and individually. This past semester was full of improvements and I look forward to seeing how this progress carries over into next semester. The varsity team of the team developed as rowers through intense workouts and mental preparation in order to successfully race at some of the most famous regattas in the world. The novice team not only learned how to row, they also were able to compete a few times this season and perform well, building team spirit along the way.
NYU Crew had a busy fall season. We raced on three consecutive weekends, in three different cities. Varsity kicked off the racing season with an unforgettable weekend at the famous Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA. The next weekend, the entire team travelled to Philly to race at the last of the famed Fall Fury series, the Head of the Schuylkill. We were all prepared for this regatta and yet, the day threw us a curve, and our trailer got a flat tire and did not make it to the course on time. What could have been a very disappointing day turned into one of our favorites. NYU was able to race all of its crews thanks to five different colleges that graciously let us borrow their boats and cox boxes. It was an incredible day that reinforced our love for the greater rowing community. With a quick turnaround, the team finished out the racing season with a crisp day at the Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, NY. Both novice and varsity crews got to compete on a beautiful and (mostly) straight race course. Later, in early November, we closed out the racing part of our semester with a dual race against Stevens Institute of Technology, also known affectionately as “The Donut Cup.” Although we enjoyed the experience of racing on our home course, we especially appreciated the amount of food brought to the race by parents from both Stevens and NYU.
Most of us don’t want to leave the boats and the river. At the same time, we are excited to see results and set new goals. This training not only builds our strength and endurance, it also develops confidence. With a solid fall season behind us, we can’t stop now, and we don’t want to either. As we go our separate ways for break, we are taking with us the memories from this fall as we train for the spring. Winter training isn’t meant to be an off-season, it’s meant to motivate us for the next step.