The Importance of a Strong Core

The Importance of a Strong Core

While on the plane, the airlines broadcast the following safety announcement before each flight: “Make sure that your own oxygen mask is on first, before helping others.” The same principle can be applied to life. I believe that you can’t help others in the most effective manner if you aren’t helping yourself first. One of the ways I help myself is to practice yoga.

Yoga is a very personal practice which makes me stretch myself past my limits, physically and mentally.  It encourages me to persevere and ignore negative thoughts; it empowers me to become the best version of myself.

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The Value of a Crew

The Value of a Crew

Who are the people who show up continually in your life to push you forward? In other words, who are your crew?

Whenever I think of a supportive community, rowing references seem to come to mind. Perhaps there are reasons for rowing often being referred to as ‘crew’.

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Profile of Perseverance: Claire Hutchinson

Profile of Perseverance: Claire Hutchinson

Today I'm honoured to  feature Claire Hutchinson (a former fellow University of Toronto Varsity Blues Rower) in my "Profiles of Perseverance" series.  Claire was on the Varsity team while I was a Novice.  I never had the chance to really get to know her, as I only saw her briefly at practices and competitions.  I have had the chance to connect with her electronically since my depature (due to graduation) from the team.  Claire is an incredibly strong athlete and person!  I really respect her, and  I am blessed that she took the time out of her busy training schedule to share.  Thanks Claire!  

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Let’s Rock the Boat

Let’s Rock the Boat

A couple of summers ago when I was doing recreational rowing, I was scared to tip the single as I didn’t want to fall into the lake and get wet.  I also thought tipping meant that I was a bad rower, so I tried hard not to tip.  Little did I know: tipping happens to everyone, regardless of their abilities. I used the pontoons way longer than I should have, because I wanted to be safe.  It took awhile, but I finally took the pontoons off – my coach insisted.  You know what? I didn’t tip that night!  It took another couple of weeks before I finally did tip.  Tipping wasn’t so bad.  Yes, I was drenched; but it was a hot summer night, so I felt refreshed.  Now, I’m not afraid to tip. So, I go out on the water with no fear. I should have just tipped at the beginning so that I wouldn’t have wasted time and energy being unrealistically fearful. 

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Press On! : What Rowing Taught Me About Resilience

Press On! : What Rowing Taught Me About Resilience

You may have the best intentions, but if you do not know how to deal with setbacks, you will be unsuccessful at achieving your goal.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the three stages to goal setting: planning, implementation, and maintenance.  Many people have a goal; one way of achieving that goal is to devise a great plan.  However, people often fail to take into consideration the obstacles that they may encounter in the process.

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal" - Henry Ford

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I've lost my drive...rowing drive that is...

I've lost my drive...rowing drive that is...

I had an interesting experience on the erg (indoor rowing machine) yesterday that I have to share.

I came to the gym eager for a great workout and got on the erg.  It was going great, had my headphones on, and in a great mood.  Then out of nowhere, around the four minute mark,  my legs stopped.  It was the weirdest thing, I literally LOST my drive (in more ways than one, motivation and is part of the rowing stroke).

The drive in rowing is the part of the stroke where the rower pulls the blade through the water using their legs, back and arms to propel the boat. It is a fundamental part of the stroke, as the rowing is 80% leg muscle power.  Don't believe me - try rowing; you'll soon realize it's all about the legs.

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Finding Arianna: A Journey of figuring out what my goal is in life

Finding Arianna: A Journey of figuring out what my goal is in life

I think I have had many whispers in my ear over my lifetime, I usually refer to them as weird coincidences.

I think every individual's life journey should be about finding your passion and being strong enough to go after it.

Kyle Hamiltons video all the little moments add up to the big moment - I think all the people that I have met over my journey and all my experiences had led me where I am today.

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Inspiring Video: "Inside The Olympic Dream"

Inspiring Video: "Inside The Olympic Dream"

I just found this amazing video of the Canadian Men's Olympic Rowing Team which was shot at Elk Lake in Victoria, B. C.  I thought I would share this of some incredible athletes since the video reinforces the mental training component of athletics which I blogged about yesterday in my post .  Also, this is where I learned to row :) .

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"Fall Down Seven, Stand Up Eight": How do people persist despite setbacks?

"Fall Down Seven, Stand Up Eight": How do people persist despite setbacks?

How do people persist despite setbacks?”  This is a question I have been asking myself recently.

I think we can learn a lot from athletes.  Last semester, while I was rowing in the provincial race, my seat fell off the track and stopped four times.  It wrecked my performance and the performance of our eight boat but I quickly took the seat off the track four times and put it back on and continued rowing.  I didn't even think for a second to stop rowing, quit, and not finish the race.

I learned a lot from this competition and many other experiences over my athletic journey .  No matter how hard you try to control life and practice for the perfect race or game (in sport and in life), things can go wrong.   As much as you try to control it, you can never control the actions of others and the environment around you.  The aspect you can control, however, is how you react to the situation (i.e., your attitude).

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Stay in the Boat: Focus on the Positive in Life

Stay in the Boat: Focus on the Positive in Life

The dream starts out with a University Crew Women’s Eight at the starting line competing in a 6k race against three other boats.  The boat begins the course with eight rowers and one coxie.

At the starting gate, one of the athletes focused on how she was treated rudely by one coach and overlooked by the others because of her abilities. Suddenly, she - including her seat and her oar -disappeared from the boat!

The other athletes decide they would continue the race without her, since they had worked so hard during the season.  The race started off really well. Then at the the 5,900 metre mark, there is an equipment failure where one of the oarlocks breaks.  The athlete who’s oarlock broke doesn’t know what to do, and stops rowing. Then “poof”, the second athlete disappears.

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Never Give Up: A Lesson Learned From Silken Laumann

Never Give Up: A Lesson Learned From Silken Laumann

I was looking for something this morning and I found a portfolio that I made for my grade nine Skills for Success class.  The teacher had asked us to put in the portfolio written work from each of your classes. I found this essay I wrote for my grade nine English class and I had to share as she still inspires me to not give up.

A hero is a man or woman admired for achievements and noble qualities. The following essay is about Silken Laumann.  This essay will discuss how Silken's been recognized as a sports hero, how she was able to change society by her special characteristics, and how she fits the the definition of a hero.

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