We set out today from our boathouse in Princeton, NJ. Official trip starting time: 7:02am. I’m writing this on the plane from Newark, NJ to Colorado. We’re connecting through Denver to LAX, and then we have a direct flight from LAX to Auckland, NZ. The travelers on this first leg are just the part of the women’s team that trains in Princeton, plus coaches, team managers, and our team physio. We’re meeting up with the boats from the men’s team that have been training at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in San Diego, Calif., and all flying together to NZ.
Traveling with the team is always an adventure. Twenty tall women walking through the airport with matching Boathouse polos and track jackets—so far we’ve been asked if we are the USA basketball team, volleyball team, and swimming team. Sometimes people know that we’re rowers, though, when they see our coxswain, Mary Whipple, walking in the group, too! No one ever asks ME if I’m the coxswain…oh well.
Travel in general, but especially air travel, is really dehydrating. Our goal is one liter of fluid per hour of travel. Makes me glad to have an aisle seat! We also do a lot of stretching, walking around, and foam roller-ing to stay loose and keep our bodies limber. Sometimes flight attendants get a bit confused when they find one or two of us doing yoga in the back of the plane…
So far, the trip has been free of delays and other drama. During our nine-hour layover in LAX, I’m planning to go home for a visit, a quick run and dinner with friends. I’m from Newport Beach, Calif., which is about 45 minutes south of the airport. This is the first time I’ve been home since March, when we were at training camp in San Diego, and I’m very happy to see my family and friends.