Hello from California!
Team USA has returned to the San Diego Olympic Training Center, and we’re quickly adjusting to the routine of full-time Olympic training. Southern California is known for its fabulous weather, and so the team is taking advantage of the sunshine to practice on-water at every opportunity!
In between rows, I’m trying to utilize the many resources the O.T.C. offers the athletes: the newly renovated and expertly staffed Performance and Rehab Center; the delicious dining hall (serving plenty of vegetables, but no desserts, alas); the sports psychology and nutrition counseling; the on-site laundry facilities; the big-screen TVs in the Athlete Lounge… I am *so thankful* for the opportunity to train at this marvelous complex!
Another resource that I’m very excited (and nervous!) to use: the upright piano in the dining hall. (I love to play piano, but I still get a nagging twinge of stage-fright whenever people are listening, particularly a cafeteria full of Olympians. Silly, I know.) One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to practice at least once a day, regardless of whoever is listening. So far, so good!
A highlight of this week was the “Olympic Ambassador Training”, a program designed to prepare athletes for the increased stature and attention that comes with the Olympics—we talked about the legacy of the Olympics, the difference between Worlds and Olympic competition, how to minimize “ripples of disturbance” at the Games, media and interview training, etc etc. While it might seem a bit early in the game to discuss the influence/importance of Olympism (after all, squad isn’t chosen for another five months!), it was still a valuable and inspiring experience, and hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to apply these lessons in London!
Finally, any January blog post would be incomplete without a huge THANK YOU to all who sent me well-wishes this holiday season! I am ever-so-grateful for the outpouring of support from my family, friends, neighbors, high school and college pals, Spokane River Rowing Association… thank you to all!!! Your encouragement and positive affirmations have absolutely recharged my emotional batteries—I can approach our winter training with a renewed vigor and enthusiasm. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Final note: The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) published an awesome profile piece when I was home. Check it out!
– Article: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/dec/28/working-vacation/
– Photos: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/dec/28/working-vacation/?photos
– Video: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/dec/28/working-vacation/?video