January 4, 2010

MIT Rowing Kicks-Off Winter Training Trip to Cocoa Beach

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - At the end of December, MIT's crew teams traveled to Florida for their annual winter training trip. Lizzy Wei, ‘12, a member of the lightweight women's team, provides perspective on her experience in the sun more than 1100 miles south of the snow of Cambridge.

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12/31/2009

The MIT lightweight women and the other MIT crew squads are now in Florida as of Tuesday afternoon. Upon arrival, following our usual list of priorities, we rigged the boats and set up the launching area at Merritt Island before heading to the hotel to unpack our own luggage. A group trip to Publix to buy food (lots of food) completed the first night of our training trip.

Winter training practice started bright and early at 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning with only minor mishaps, such as loading the wrong kind of gasoline tanks into the coaches' launches; for a first day, it didn't delay things by that much. Everyone quickly settled into the rhythm of rowing for the first time in over two months. We kicked off the week-and-a-half in Florida with two solid steady-state rows on Wednesday, then a harder workout Thursday morning and technical work on Thursday afternoon.

After just two days, most of the team agrees that it feels like we have been here for much, much longer. We have gotten into the routine of showing up at our vans (no one has been late so far), carrying the coaches' launches into the water-an effort that requires half of the team-washing salt water off the boats after each practice, and strapping them back down again.

Everyone has been putting in their best effort, perhaps partly out of relief that we are only practicing twice a day and not three times, as the lightweight men are rumored to be doing some days this year, but also because we are starting to look ahead to spring racing, and we want to hold our own in every race this season! As a result, we are improving, and hope to continue improving, with every single practice.

Outside of rowing, the team exchanged secret-Santa gifts on Wednesday night, which was a lot of fun. For New Year's Eve, all four squads had dinner together near the hotel pool and then made (or tried to make) s'mores using the hotel's outdoor grills. It's been a lot of rowing, sleeping, cooking and eating with our teammates, and not much else - a great start to what promises to be another fantastic winter training trip!

by Lizzy Wei, Lightweight Women, ‘12