I personally pushed myself to do things that I otherwise could never imagine. As I have mentioned often (via College Prep, my tumblr, and tweets) my anxiety is a daily challenge for me. The mere thought of traveling so far to a place I’ve never been gives me goosebumps, but I managed to keep it together. I normally thrive on itineraries and self destruct when schedules and plans fall through. This trip, however, made me reach way way way past my (much beloved) “comfort zone” and roll with the punches instead. Racing on three different courses was a great test for my coxing skills as I had to adapt to steering in different wind conditions, navigating new traffic patterns, and following new rules.
After racing in the three regattas, I realized the true beauty, intensity, and art that is crew. Everyone in England was incredibly into it. Regattas are social events, which is such a nice change from the dusty shores only parents and bored siblings watch from in the States. If I trailed four really (I do mean REALLY) tall guys around over here, people would just think I was some little sister. In England, people would stop us, ask which race we were in, wish us good luck, and instantly know we were four rowers and a coxswain.
Agreeing to go on a two and a half week trip with four boys is an accomplishment in and of itself. I imagined that I would be so fed up with them. We shared a bathroom, ate every meal together, hung out endlessly, and got along perfectly. (There was only one slight altercation between me and them, but it was sorted out with only a few tears shed haha.) I love that all of us really bonded and came together so well. I can honestly say that I was sad to leave knowing that we wouldn’t have another “occasional team meal” or breakfast or walk down to practice or squished van ride or 1983 trivial pursuit games or World Cup watching (although, I must say that is a-okay with me) or journey down the Thames or scary rides through locks together.
The trip home was a sad one. I am very excited to go back to Tampa, don’t get me wrong. I have missed my family, friends, and even my cats! At the same time, this was a once in a lifetime experience that is now only a memory. I went through my iPhoto album twice on the plane relishing the memories and remembering the fun times. Little V coincidentally had the seat next to me, so we talked a lot thankfully distracting me.
My eardrum ruptured during the descent into the airport and I was in a lot of pain during lunch with one of the guys from my boat and he was so sweet basically forcing me to go to the hospital. It made me once again realize how much I love them and will miss them!!! [Don’t worry, after a not-so-short visit to the ER, I have some hearing back and not as much pain.]
Here are some photo highlights from the trip:
Click on the Picture to see entire album