And I’m back! After five weeks of training, tapering, racing, then vacationing (yay!), I’ve finally made my way back to New Jersey. And while Princeton does have its beautiful seasons, late November is not one of them— I arrived on a grey, frigid, and windy day, already missing the sunny beaches and springtime flowers of New Zealand!
Now it’s down to business: this is an Olympic-qualifying year, which means that the 2011 Worlds in Slovenia are super important. (The Olympic field is limited to only seven women’s eights, and these crews are determined by the country’s placement the year before.) And we only have nine months!
The entire women’s squad gathered at the Princeton boathouse this morning, ready to work. After three weeks of just cross-training, my rowing muscles are probably going to be a little sore; in fact, I can feel them twitching as we speak. Time to go find the bottle of Aleve… (but as I often remind myself, achy muscles are a worthy sacrifice for the amazing memories and fantastic adventures I had during my New Zealand vacation with Mom and Dad!)
And remember, it’s not too late to order your POWER AND GRACE CALENDAR: PORTRAITS OF AMERICAN WOMEN ROWERS. All proceeds go directly towards helping the athletes of the US National Team! The perfect stocking stuffer, if I say so myself… www.yearbox.com/rowing
And for your viewing pleasure, here are some pics from The Redman’s Amazing Kiwi Expedition:
Although he looks docile, this New Zealand fur seal was actually very grouchy. Mom says she’s never seen me run so quickly… though it’s not my fault that he parked himself in the middle of the trail.
A kiwi on skis! This is my sort of pet! (Note Mt Ngauruhoe in the background, otherwise known as “Mt. Doom” to Lord of the Rings fans)
After a severe September earthquake damaged many Christchurch buildings, local artists lightened the mood by adding some Kiwi flair to the supports of a local church. (You can see the cracks in the masonry at the very top, to the left of the mountain climber)
A great view, some fluffy company, what more could you want in an outhouse?? (Actually, there was a FLUSH OUTHOUSE at one of the backpackers huts! Whoa)
A local artist’s rendition of Mona Lisa, as seen on a supermarket poster. The paper in her hands is a NZ visa application.
New Zealand is truly a paradise on Earth. We have a mile-long list of places we still need to see– it’s time to start planning our second Kiwi expedition!