While most of the rowing world (well, the Northeast USA rowing world) is off to walmart for sunscreen and a trip down south. Toga VG take a different route! Heading NORTH for spring training. After training in March, outdoors, maybe I am just crazy, but there is open water up north, and 40s is downright balmy compared to a month ago. So, with a little trepidation, the athletes loaded up the creeper van and set forth to climb Corinth Mountain road and prepare for a week of bonding in the house on the hill.
We arrived to find that it is a few degrees colder up here than in Saratoga. And, the snow banks are just a little higher. No worries though, the house, this year, is complete and with tvs in every room and enough bathrooms to fit 30 girls, and a hot tub waiting for them after practice - we were prepared to brave the temps. As soon as we arrived, the girls sprinted for the door to claim their rooms -- and I headed for the kitchen to set up my keurig. Waiting in the kitchen was the mystery teammate sporting some classy attire.
Since we did not get up there until late, we watched a little TV and reviewed our plactice plan, and Izze brought out our nice list supplies (each athlete writes on nice thing about every other athlete). The girls actually headed off to bed a little before curfew and I tried to catch a little basketball (but I started dozing off).
The morning began with Carissa and Mystery girl runing upstairs to jump on Alida's bed and wish her a Happy Birthday. They were disappointed when she was already awake, and then they were scared out of the room when they saw a big bug which Alida was in no hurry to kill. We had a quick snack and off to Corinth Park and Beach (according to some "one slide does not a park make"). It was quite an adventure rigging the boats and carrying them across the road and over the fence. Then it was even more of an adventure trying to get our launches going. One of them started right up, the other one required a few engine changes. Finally on the water, we had only 90 minutes left to row. Fortunately the water was BEAUTIFUL and the temps were climbing over the freezing mark. I was so encouraged with practice that I allowed the girls to row by all 8 for a few strokes... They did great! Also, this morning was the first time that Rachael Signor took some strokes on the water. She did a great job but came off the water saying "that is a lot harder than I thought" and I heard she even said "my brain hurts" later in the day.
After practice we had a nice long break. What a difference it makes not driving back to Toga for practices. Not only is the water awesome here, but it saves 2+ hours of driving each day. Brunch was prepared by Mrs. Price and Mrs. Casey and it was delicious! Last year I missed the apple brownies, and I have been craving them ever since. After brunch it was TED talk time. (I force them to sit through a TED talk after brunch). Today was Shawn Achor and The Happy Secret to Better Work. While some went off for afternoon naps and some went to write their "nice" lists. A few of us really got into the Bananagrams for a few rounds. And a few got to making snowmen.
2nd practice went from 4:00-6:30 and was much of the same. We took out the 2 eights and proceeded with drills and steady rowing - venturing up river and around the corner a bit. We didn't make to much ground though, there is a bit of a current to row against. The current makes the row home significantly faster though...
Thanks to Mrs. Kenison for the delicious lasagna, which was followed by Adam Sandler's "Big Daddy" and then, while there was lots of talk about "One Tree Hill". I fell asleep for a few minutes during "Big Daddy" so maybe they decided something else, but in any case, most are now off to their rooms, and a few are watching their you-tube channel on the apple TV.