If you had told me two months ago that I would be dreaming I was on an erg warming up for a 2k, I would have thought you were absolutely insane.... little did I know, you would have been right.
Never would I have thought that my novice year was going to come to an end faster than I could blink. That Thursday night, one of the last weeks of March when everything with the Coronavirus was starting to get pretty serious, I remember sitting on my phone updating the School District website endlessly. I wished for hours that the Philadelphia schools would finally close, but what I didn’t realize was that if school closed, so did PCR.
In all honesty, the winter season at PCR was challenging - with endless erging and cold runs - but I stuck with it because being on the water with all of my teammates is a special feeling I couldn’t envision myself without come springtime. I thought I had made it to the light at the end of the tunnel; it was three days before my first race when we learned there was a big chance our season would come to an end before it even got started.
To me, it felt like Coronavirus was taking away more than just my school work, it was also taking my entire social life. Being on the water, spending with some of my closest friends, working towards a common goal, talking with coaches, and just having an overall amazing experience on the river, were the parts of rowing I looked forward to every single day. I had come to peace with the idea of not having school for two weeks, but once I found out rowing was canceled, I was devastated. Our whole team had put in the time, effort, and sweat needed to succeed, and we were prepared to take it onto the river to show everyone how much we learned and how hard we had worked.
One thing this pandemic has taught me, amongst many others, is that perspective is key. Do I really miss rowing and being at school every day? Of course, I do. But, I also believe we must look for the positive things that come out of challenging times. Over the last several weeks, I have enjoyed having time to focus on myself and grow closer to my family. Usually, during the week we aren’t able to sit down and have a meal together, but now it’s what I look forward to. I’ve also had time to bake and go bike riding, and you know I make it a point to ride past the boatyard every day just so I can remember where I want to be when everything hopefully goes back to “normal.”
Not only have I been able to spend more time with my family, ride my bike, bake, cook, do schoolwork, and so much more, but I’m grateful that there is still time for me to connect with my teammates. I find it really cool that my coaches work so hard to have virtual workouts and team meetings where we can all see each other and “hang out.” Overall, quarantine has had a major impact on the whole world, but personally, the shutdown has really shown me that rowing is something I’m serious about and not something I do just to keep myself busy or add to my resume. By not being at practice or with my team, I’ve learned that the moments I have with them are extremely valuable and that is something that I never want to give up going forward!