2014 Winter Training Blog: Erin Brogan

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 third of five winter training trip blogs features junior Erin Brogan.
Jan. 18, 2014 – Erin Brogan

“It has been one week since we arrived in Florida for training and we have hit the wall…hard. In case you were wondering, six to seven hours of top intensity rowing each day definitely puts strain on the body. I am seeing bedtimes that I haven’t seen since elementary school, my roommate claims I have been stretching in my sleep, and long discussions have been had on the best way to tape over your entire hand. It is nothing our team can’t handle though, as we are pushing through the wall impressively and improving every day as a team.”
“Our daily routine is simple: when we aren’t rowing, we are sleeping, and when we aren’t sleeping or rowing, we are eating to fuel ourselves for rowing later on. Days and nights are mushing together and it has got to the point where you wake up not knowing what day, time, or practice you are going to. In all of the confusion, I have found a simple life cheat to make sure I am on track: when I wake up, ‘it’s time to row.’ Simple.”
“This training trip has been the most impressive one I have seen in my two and a half years I have been on this team. You walk up to practice exhausted and still manage to will your boat to go faster than ever before. That’s pure mental toughness if I’ve ever seen it.”
“There is no doubt that life would be easier if we weren’t on the University of Kansas rowing team. ‘Normal People,’ as my teammates and I often refer to them, peers who are still home for winter break with their family and friends. Would our hands be prettier if we were ‘normal people’? Yes. Would we be happier if we were ‘normal people’? No. The happiest my 50+ teammates and I are is when our legs can’t stop shaking after a tough practice. That may sound a little twisted, but it’s true and we all have accepted it. These women I am proud to call my teammates will not be satisfied until they have reached their limit, which everyone is constantly striving towards. They didn’t choose this lifestyle, this lifestyle chose them and there is no doubt in my mind that each and every one of these girls was born to be a competitor.”
“Now that I have hit on all of the great work we are doing, let me tell you a little about how outside of rowing stuff is going! We were rewarded two days ago for our hard work with a trip to the beach! It was a blast to hang out with my teammates in a different atmosphere. Everyone was swimming, sleeping or playing games. We even put together an ultimate Frisbee game, which was a blast because my team won. Our next big outing is to go watch a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game. My Canadian teammates almost cried over their excitement. Canadians, eh?”
“I would keep writing on, but it is 9:00 p.m. so I have to start getting ready for bed (elementary bedtimes, I told you), but let me leave you with some final thoughts:

  1. My teammates are the strongest girls I know and I love each and every one of them individually for each of their own (seriously different) personalities.
  2. Coaches are human and they understand you more than you understand yourself. It’s annoying, but they always know best.
  3. This 9:30 p.m. bedtime is glorious.”

“Peace, Love, Row. XOXO, Brogan”
Stay tuned for the next post from the 2014 Winter Training Blog in Tampa, featuring senior coxswain Abbey Lozenski.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.