Holy Cross Rowing Diary: In The Shell With Valerie Jackson

Valerie Jackson

Diary Entries
March 11, 2007
February 22, 2007

March 11, 2007

While many college students will be packing their bags for a relaxing spring break, the crew team prepares for a week of grueling double practices in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Florida is a wonderful change of pace from the brutal Worcester winters, and it is great to finally get off of the ergs and on to the calm waters of the Banana River. Practices on the river would often include the occasional manatee sighting and schools of porpoises swimming would often swim close to our boats as if to race alongside us.

 

The Varsity Eight in Florida
The 2nd & 3rd Varsity Eights in Florida

 

 

 

However, it certainly was a challenge to finally get to Florida our flight was delayed several hours due to the weather and we finally arrived at our hotel at 3:15 in the morning! Despite the rocky start, we could not have had a more successful, productive or enjoyable spring training trip. Practices were held twice a day, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. Our coach, Patrick Diggins, would tell us every day how `lucky' we were to be out on the water to see the sun rise AND set. While the rowers might have had a slightly different perspective on how `lucky' we were to be up so early, there was no denying that it was wonderful to be out on the water and really feel the boats fly. Across the board it was very evident that all of our hard work during the winter training season had paid off as the boats gaining speed and fluidity on the water very quickly. The team not only came together as rowers in a boat but as teammates and best friends off of the water. When we weren't resting up from practices, we prepared `gourmet' meals in our hotel rooms, made crafts and played ridiculous pranks on one another (and the coaches!). As cliché as it may seem, the time spent on the training trip turns us from a team into a family. With the end of our training trip marks the beginning of our spring racing season-our most important season of the year. I cannot wait to sit at the starting line and hear the official's call `Ready all, ROW!'

Until Next Time,
Valerie Jackson

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February 22, 2007

Hi everyone! My name is Valerie Jackson and I have been on the women's varsity rowing team since my freshman year. I am a history major with a concentration in peace and conflict studies here at Holy Cross. From the moment I stepped onto campus I knew it was the perfect place for me. It seemed natural to combine my passion for rowing with my love for Holy Cross by being a member of a team with a tradition of excellence both on the water and off. Right now the team is in the tail end of our indoor training season. Unlike many sports, our season does not end with the wave of the official's red flag at the finish line, but continues from the beginning head race in the fall until the last championship race in the late spring. Therefore, training indoors is essential to success. The team this year has displayed unparalleled focus, drive and determination both on the ergs and in the weight room. Through the long and grueling practices that occupy our winter nights, it is the camaraderie and incredible friendships within this team that make every practice a success. Knowing that the girl behind you and the girl in front of you are pulling on the erg with every ounce of their strength is an inspiration and pushes everyone to go faster. Although it is hard to remember the feel of rowing on Lake Quinsigamond from the tanks in the Hart Center, we know that every stroke on the erg is one step closer to our goal.

Until Next Time,
Valerie Jackson

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