So as I’m sat exhausted during a heavy week of training with Reading and Henley regatta creeping up I thought it was appropriate to write about my sport at university. Yes you guessed it: rowing.
Upon joining university I always wanted to join and become involved in a sport society. In freshers week I attended the bun fight with my friends where all the societies and sports have stands trying to recruit as many people as possible! Before university I was a keen sailor where I competed nationally. However, I liked the idea of learning a new sport at university that I wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do. My sister is two years older than me and had joined the rowing club at her university. I loved attending her competitions and became found of the sport. So at the bun fight I signed up to rowing, sailing and a few other random ones. After being bombarded by emails of the societies advertising their introduction days I signed up to the rowing and sailing days. After attending both I decided to give rowing a go. It meant I was able to learn a new sport whilst still sailing at home and so it started !
Learning how to row with great friends was such fun. The improvement from knowing absolutely nothing about the sport to now rowing competitively is incredible. Sitting in the freezing cold at 6.30 am rowing two at a time to avoid capsizing was definitely worth it. The social side is great too, I’ve made so many amazing friends. Unfortunately during my first year at Christmas I tore my medial collateral ligament in my knee. Due to a previous bad history of my knees it took quite a toll on my knee and I was left with my leg stuck at a 15 degree angle for three months (not ideal). This meant during my second semester of first year I was unable to row which was rubbish! But I got straight back into it in second year and it’s been a great year.
So many of my university friends think I’m mad rowing. Especially when turning up to a 9 am lecture straight from a 6.30am outing in my wellies and smelling of the itchen river. Even though there’s times when I question what the hell in doing to myself. Especially when my hands are blistered so much I struggle to wash my hair. Even more so when I spend my Friday nights on the rowing machine. But it’s all worth it. It’s hard work to balance such a commited sport with my degree and social life but I find it actually makes me become more organised and productive because I have to be. Rowing as the sun rises is the most beautiful thing and sometimes it really sets me up for the day. It’s made me really learn the art of the tactical nap too! The fitness side is hard work with a basic training of 6 days a week and sometimes training twice a day. But it’s a great way for me to keep my fitness and especially good for cardio work (even if my asthma hates me).
I’m really excited for reading this weekend and Henley the weekend after but I have to admit I’m not going to miss the 6am starts and my destroyed hands for a while. I hope to continue rowing next year during my semester abroad at the university of Adelaide.
What’s your sport at university?