Sunday, March 30, 2014

Regional Regatta

And the rain came down... first the fog... then the rain!  I wasn't sure we were even going to be able to find the Point in all the fog.  If the boats got too far ahead of you, you lost them in the fog, just a little bit creepy.

Once the fog cleared, then the rain came down.  I haven't been that wet in a long time.  It seems Mother Nature is just throwing everything she can think of at us.  But we won't be defeated!  Zack stroked the 2nd Eight again.  They came in 3rd in their heat and made it into their final!
Despite the rain, they kept their positive attitudes as they waited for their final to come.  The fog cleared, the rain stopped, but then....the crabs came! :o(  Poor Brock caught one of the biggest crabs I've ever seen.  
It was awful!  But they recovered and still came in 4th!  It was a crazy, day - but we all survived!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Junior Year - Brenna

Brenna is once again doing fun things at school.  Still plenty of bats, but President of the Wildlife Society as well, new boyfriend... good stuff!
Behind the scenes Zoo Trip

Baby  Bear

This girl will catch anything - No fear!

New Beau - Cameron

Monday, March 24, 2014

First Trail Run - Race #3

Race #3 in the bag.  My first Trail Run 5K.  I liked it and I didn't.  It certainly wasn't boring, there were half a dozen times I almost fell on my face, including once almost directly in front of a photographer, but I managed to stay on my feet.

I liked the trail run because it was not boring... I had to stay on my game the whole time.  But at the same time, it was challenging.  My time was 39:40.  I guess that's okay.  I do like mixing it up and doing different races and different distances.  Next month I'm going to try a 10K!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Polar Bear Regatta

We actually made it out on the water.  The kids had a grand total of about 7 days on the water, but they didn't let that stop them.  It was cold, but not unbearable (no pun intended....Polar Bear...unbearable!)  Zack stroked the 2nd Eight and they took 2nd place!  Pretty exciting!  I discovered it's a little difficult to be a coach and a fan at the same time.  I spend most of my time following Coach Cox around helping to launch and recover boats, so it's hard to be over by the tents cheering.  But I'll get it figured out.
Such freaking goofballs.  I love these boys!

So proud every time I see him row!

Game face!

The other exciting/horrific thing that happened to me... first regatta, first time driving my own launch and I had to make 2 separate rescues at sea!!  I had to rescue one of the Gar-field coaches who's launch had stalled right by painted rocks.  I tied a rope onto their launch and then had to tow it back to our docks.  Really scary!!
Here I'm smiling, because I know the folks in this launch and I'm going back to our boathouse.  So, I got them safely back to the boathouse and headed back to the regatta, but before I could get there... ANOTHER boat signaled me for help!  Seriously....???!!!

Here I'm not as smiley, because these are strangers and I have to tow them to the Coaches Dock at Sandy Run.  So, I'm towing strangers, to a dock with all sorts of VASRA muckety-mucks, coaches, refs and who knows who else!  TERRIFYING!!  But I did it with only a little bit of "holy shit, I'm going to crash" when I got to the dock.  Everyone was safe and secure and I headed on to The Point to watch the rowing!  Whew, what a day!

Monday, March 17, 2014

I rest my case…. Bitch, Bitch, Bitch!

I don't know what the hell Mother Nature is doing, but she certainly has it in for Woodbridge Crew.. March FREAKING 17th and we have 8 inches of snow and another DAMN snow day!   Our kids have had a grand total of 4 days of on the water practice and now we're off today and it doesn't look hopeful for tomorrow.  First regatta is on Saturday… if we're lucky they'll get 3 more days and then have to race.  It should be interesting.  Not only that, we'll probably be going to school until July to make up for all the days we've missed.  I'm so fricking tired of winter, but even more tired of the yo-yo.  Friday we were on the water and it was almost 70 degrees.  Today 8 inches of snow and 24 degrees.  Get a grip Mother Nature.  Make up your mind!  I can't believe I'm going to have to put my snow pants on and go out and shovel on MARCH 17th!    What is this Michigan?
Happy Snow St. Patricks Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mother Nature is a Bitch!

We've been inside for the last two days because Mother Nature is just a flat out bitch, or she hates Woodbridge Crew.  The temps have been in the low 30's with wind so we've been back at school and on the Ergs.  Theoretically,  I know it sucks and we need to be out on the water, but practically I am thankful for a little breathing space and a little stress relief.  At the school, I feel much more in my element.  We split the boys in half, Mike does Erg workouts with his half and I take my half upstairs and we do the "Sticks of Sorrow."

I came up with these a couple years ago for the neighborhood moms to use to workout any time they wanted.  They have all sorts of different exercises on them.  The kids take turns pulling the sticks and we do whatever is on the sticks for 1 min and then we move on to the next stick.  We usually do them for 45min - 1 hour and then we switch and the next bunch comes up and we do the same thing.  I love it, I feel much more in my element and I do the workout with them.  So, it's a great workout for me as well.  
At first I worried that the boys would think they were too easy, but by about 15 mins in they are sweating and breathing as hard as I am.  For the last 2 days, this is what we've done.  I was afraid I was going to be so sore I couldn't get out of bed, but I'm very happy to report that I'm a little stiff, but that's it!  Speaking of being a little fitter than I expected, got on a scale today at practice (we all did for fun) that supposedly registers body fat % as well… I weighed 117 and the scale said 6%… now I don't really think that can be right, but I'm reveling in it for right now! :o)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm not sure it's getting any easier

We've had 2 more days on the water.  The last two days I went out with Coach Cox which was a little more stressful and a little less stressful at the same time.  I did drive Monday for him and it was only a little less stressful than driving with Tim, but today I mainly just rode in the launch and listened and tried to frantically absorb as much as I could.  Geez, there is just soooooo much I don't know and I just hate feeling stupid and clueless.  I don't like not being good at something.  What was really nice and less stressful is Mike took the Novice boat out for the last 2 days and that was really beneficial for me.  Mike is taking it really slowly, obviously, with them and that really helps me.  They move at a much slower pace, and each part of the process is broken down and exaggerated, which really helps me understand what they should be doing.  I just don't think there is anyway I'm ever going to learn enough to be a coach, but I'm not going to quit or give up - mainly because I don't want to leave them in a bind, but also because I always tell the kids they need to "stick with it, it will get better."  So, I guess I need to put my money where my mouth is!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Today is my sweet Baby Girl's 21st birthday.  I know I seem to say this every year, but I CANNOT BELIEVE that my girl is legal!  I feel pretty guilty because we aren't getting to spend it together and make a big deal of it.  She's back in the Virgin Islands doing a study tour, so I guess that's a pretty good gift.  It's the same trip she did her freshman year, but she's doing 2 different research projects for her advisor and hopefully getting published!  I do have gifts for her including a new iPad Air from John - so she has special gifts coming, but I just always feel bad when we're not together on her birthday.  You'd think I'd be use to it, since college seems to have ended the family celebrations, but the last couple of years she's come home for a weekend after trips and we've had a delayed celebration.  This year she can't do that.  :o(   John is going to go down for a weekend and visit her when she gets home (Zack and I have a regatta).  He'll take her gifts and we'll FaceTime with her when she opens them, but it's just not the same.

She's very excited about going out and getting a beer with her Dad - legally.  He'll make sure it's a fun celebration.  I guess I don't have to worry about what's in those red Solo cups anymore!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I survived, actually everyone survived!

Yesterday was our first day of on the water practice.  I have to be honest I spent most of the day feeling like I was going to throw up!  I rode in the launch with one of our new Coaches - Coach Tim.  Very nice guy, he's Brenna's age, rows at George Mason and use to coach with Mike at Forest Park.  It started out just fine…but then…Tim wanted me to drive so that he could coach better.  It ended up being just fine, but  Oh Sweet Jesus the driving.  What I didn't realize was how FREAKING CLOSE they like to get to the boats.  I didn't drive fast enough or get close enough to the boat for Tim.  He was very nice and encouraging, but the stress I felt.  Couple of times got all turned around and did a little bit of panicking.  The good news is, I didn't crash into anything, I didn't dump anyone in the water, I didn't damage the boat, but I also didn't do anything except stress and concentrate on driving.  We went out with the 1st and 2nd 8's.  That was cool to see them rowing, but I really wasn't able to pay attention or absorb much of anything because I was too busy trying not to crash into anything.  Still everyone was very encouraging and I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.  But there is just so much I don't know!

I guess it's really official - although I still feel sort of like a poser.  All I can say, is I am doing my best and working hard has hell.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Step number eleventy-twelve…on my way

Slowly but surely I'm filling all the steps I need to take to become an official Coach, or "Coach in Training" as I'm calling myself.  I've done the Sandy Run Coaches safety meeting, the Oxford House Safety meeting, First Aid, CPR and AED certified, I went to a day long Va State Boat Safety certification and finally this weekend I learned to drive a launch boat.

John has the patience of a saint and is actually a very good teacher.  It wasn't as hard as I thought, but at the same time it was quite overwhelming.  While it's a little bit like driving a car, it's the drifting and wind blowing that freaks me out a little bit.  When you put a car in neutral it stays where you put it, not so with a boat.  It drifts and moves and spins and wiggles.  That's going to take some getting use to.  The first day, we just did the basics - forward, backward, starting, stopping etc…  Then Day 2 we got a little more fancy.  We drove all the way up the race course to the dam.  Ever since my Sandy Run Safety meeting, all I can envision is taking a shell up the course and sending them over the dam! :o)  Fortunately it appears that I would have to make a concentrated effort to do that - it doesn't look like it's something that might "accidentally" happen.  I practiced docking and pretending to switch out rowers into the shell with the launch.  By the end of the session, I felt reasonably competent, but I'm still VERY nervous about this whole thing.  I'm sure I'm not going to be doing anything fancy or tricky in my first couple of weeks, but still it's stressing me out. There is SOOOOO much that I DON'T know and I still can't help thinking that Mike C and John M are just a tad bit CRAZY going with this plan. But at the same time, there's not much choice.  The weather has been so freaking cold that I don't think well get out on the water this week, so I hope I'll get a couple more days to practice before I'm put to the test.