Monday, March 20, 2006

Okay thanks, buh-bye.

Hi my name is Claris, & I skipped out on my 2k test this morning, thank you very much.

There has been a slight disillusionment with rowing as of late in my world. And I thought it was just me, but R.S. Monkey seems to be having the same conundrum. Lemme break it down. There are three main advantages to our boathouse:

1. Racing level
Our club is pretty good. Or the A level is, anyway. They sent two boats to Head of the Charles last fall & did fairly well. So by training there, you're supposedly going to be able to get racing experience that non-collegiate rowers (like myself & R.S. Monkey) wouldn't normally get.

2. Sculling
Our club is supposed to offer sculling lessons for free. (Sculling is two oars, sweep is one.)

3. Coaching Staff
Because we have a coaching staff for each practice, you theoretically get more attention, as opposed to other clubs where you can take a boat out, but occasionally have to pay extra for a coach to watch & correct you.
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For the majority of the club, this works great. We have two groups - the people that are basically rec rowers who race occasionally, and the competitive level Masters' group.

...and then there's R.S. Monkey & I. Here's our problem - we're at a higher level than the rec rowers, but not yet good enough to hold our own with the A Level Masters' boat - mostly because we don't have enough experience. (Some of those women have been racing for ten years or more, and they're just at a higher technical level than we are.) So for us...

1. Racing level
R.S. Monkey & I aren't in a race boat right now. We aren't good enough for the A Level, & we're too young for the Club Master's boat. So we train for...what, again?

2. Sculling
I can't get a damn sculling lesson to save my fuckin' life. Nobody shows on the Monday night slot, and at this point, I think it's unfair for Coach T & I to try to keep dancing around one another's schedules (which never works), especially since every other coach gets paid extra for what is basically a private lesson, since I'm the only person that shows up. And while Coach T certainly doesn't need the money (he runs a corporate real estate company so that he can basically take off & row whenever he wants) I still feel a little bad about it.

3. Coaching Staff
Yeah. Coach I, our main coach for MWF...she doesn't talk to me. I don't know what I ever did to that woman, but yeah. Other than when I e-mailed her & asked point blank what I should be working on...my coach hasn't spoken to me on the water in about, oh, four, five weeks now? Longer? Special K offered the explanation that the reason I'm not one of the Chosen Kids is because in collegiate rowing I'd have been in Coach I's height/weight class & I pull a good time w/ less than a year's rowing, and whether she realizes it or not, Coach I probably automatically sees me as competition - especially because I don't kiss coach ass...well hey - that's pretty much not my problem. I pay you to help me train, and too dang bad.

Plus, any time I try to ask about what I should be doing, I get told about Beavis. Now, no offense to Beavis, who rowed in the Mighty Four with us this fall, but if one more person tells me that Beavis sculled a single for a year before she came over to our club & that's why she got moved up, I'm going to fucking scream. I didn't ask about her. She's not my concern, and if we're going to be really fucking petty, on the Feb erg test, I outpulled her, thanks.

Because here's the thing that R.S. Monkey & I face - we're being told that we need to improve certain skills, but not given the opportunity to do so. In fact, I'd easily state that since we switched from Head race season to sprint season, the training level in the MWF group has actually gone DOWN in quality. The A level boat does 18k practices - the B level hasn't done a full 6k since January. wtf? We were supposed to do a 2k erg on Friday at a 28. Um, I'm sorry? The boat we're in can't manage a decent 28 for two minutes - how does that train us for an 8 minute race? (Okay, in my case about 7 & change, but still) R.S. Monkey & I both pretty much decided "Fuck that, I'm not hurting myself" & we skipped on Friday. This morning, I showed up & Coach I wanted me to do the 2k test. I told her my back was sore & I showered & came into work early. Fuck that shit - I'll run a 1k tonight, see what my settle pace is, and do it Wed. - I'm not just going to toss that shit out on a whim & hurt myself, dammit. Plus, if I really wanted to be a bitch, I'm already a 2k test ahead of the rest of the club due to the fact that I went down & did the San Diego erg crash the weekend after Long Beach. Of course, since I'm not Beavis, Coach I didn't even notice when there was suddenly a completely different time set for my 2k test, so I doubt she even knows that I went to San Diego. Whatever.

So I decided something over the weekend - I could say something. But the last time I did that, Coach I took my e-mail & sent it out to every member of the coaching staff, and I don't need to be treated like a five year old, thanks. And since everyone & their brother keeps saying that I'm not good enough because I didn't scull like Beavis...Fuck it. I'm going to go to Long Beach & learn how to scull a single. Long Beach is open from 5 am to 10pm every day of the week - I figure if I scull there on Sat, Sun, & Mon. mornings, I can row with the LRC A level on Tues am., & I'll do the B level practices on W & F so that I have Thursdays off. And because rowing in L.A. is such an incestuous little social circle, I know that I don't have to tell the LRC coaching staff - considering that some of our members are board members at LB, it's gonna get back to them real fast. When G found out that Morgan was going to over to LARC any morning she didn't get water time at our boathouse, Morgan was on the water every fuckin' practice - he can't stand the idea of his crew rowing for someone else.

This morning, I saw Zenmaster H, who I know is a member of LB, so I asked her about joining. She looked a little surprised about it, so I explained that since it didn't look like I would be racing this season, I figured I might as well do something. Zenmaster H was cool about it, but then she went out & brought me back info for sweep camps that go on in NH & MA every summer, saying, "You should definitely go to camp if you want to get better." Which I know, and I was already planning on going to Craftsbury this summer...but um, what about right now? Should I just sit my ass in the boat every morning in four seat where I sit because hell will freeze over before I'm allowed to stroke again while we wait for the bow pair to learn when to drop their oar in the water? Yeah thanks no. I didn't give Zenmaster H attitude about it, don't worry R.S. Monkey, but I just sort of shrugged & said I was interested in exploring my options & seeing what other clubs could offer me.

When I was on my way out, I could hear Coach I calling my name - or, rather, what I think she thinks my damn name is. Let's be straight here - my name is not Katie, it's not Katherine. While there are other rowers in the club with those names, and yes, I was recruited for the club by someone named Katie...that is not my name. I've been here for nine months now. Call me by the right name, thanks. For that reason alone, I kept walking. However, since she was sitting behind Zenmaster H & P, who were doing their 2k tests, I suspect something was said to her about the fact I was asking about other clubs.

Oh well. If you'll excuse me, I have to go fill out the forms to apply to LBRA...

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