2014 Winter Training Blog: Maddie Irelan

TAMPA – Temperatures on the Kansas River can make preseason training a challenge, so the Kansas rowing team uses the opportunity to travel to warmer climates to get the Jayhawks ready to race in the spring. This year’s trip finds the team in Tampa, Fla., for 10 days of training. Throughout the week, KUAthletics.com and members of the rowing team will catalog the trip. The first of five winter training trip blogs features freshman Maddie Irelan.
Jan. 13, 2014
Maddie Irelan

“Our final practice in Lawrence concluded on Wednesday with a big sigh of relief. The only thing standing in between sunny Florida and the KU Rowing Team was a good night’s sleep and a quick plane ride! As a freshman on the team and a first-time participant in winter training, I did not have a lot of expectations. I expected to be tired, to have some goofy tan lines and to bond with my team, but I did not expect to learn so much in such little time and even see a few dolphins while rowing!”
“As we arrived on site and I saw where we would be rowing for the next week, I felt overwhelmed with excitement. For the first time in months, I would not only be able to row in a boat, but to do it in the beautiful warmth and sunshine of Tampa. The park that we row out of is host to several different college teams for winter training, including Rutgers, which my older sister, Bailey, happens to row for. When we chose to go to school 19 hours away from each other, in states as different as Kansas and New Jersey, we never would have thought that we would end up training on the same water during the winter. Having the privilege to stay in the same hotel and spend time together was special for us and I was excited to have her just a few floors away for a couple of days.”
“Our first day of practice brought us calm water, warm air and a bright sun; all things we haven’t seen in a while. These conditions allowed us to get our heads back in the rowing game and provided a great starting point for the team. We’ve now completed six practices and I have already been tested both physically and mentally. With no past training trips to compare this to, everything is a new experience. All of these experiences are everything I could have hoped for: growing as a rower and a teammate, bonding with the other girls and testing my boundaries. So far Tampa 2014 has been a success!”
Be sure to check out the next installment of the 2014 Winter Training Blog, featuring sophomore Tessa Scott.
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