Tonight is the Rising Stars Dinner and Auction, an event to support the National Team and Olympic dreams of members of PBC’s Open Sculling Program. Following the dinner, our Open Scullers will leave for California and the final leg of training for the regattas that will determine this year’s Olympic team. Our shared hopes, dreams, and best wishes for success, go with them!
In this month’s look into the world of an Open Sculler, Stefanie Kozuszek reminds us that making the National Team is just the icing on the cake of being part of a hard working, close-knit team.
If you’d like to read more about Open Sculler Stefanie Kozuszek, please visit her bio page here (click).
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Happy 2012! I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season!
It’s a big year, an Olympic year, and the end of a four year cycle of hard work and effort by athletes from all over the world hoping to represent their nation in London. For the PBC Open Sculling Program, it means it’s time for us to kick it into overdrive. Following this weekend’s Rising Stars Dinner and Auction, a few of us will stay in DC and focus on building our fitness, targeting through to the next cycle. Others will head out to Long Beach, California, to prepare for the National Selection Regattas in Chula Vista in April. We all hope they will be greeted with flat water, warm weather, and a training environment that will lead them to a spot on the National Team.
It’s always interesting to see the reactions of people when you tell them that you are training to one day make the National Team or better yet, to make it to the Olympics. They usually hone in on the Olympic part and ask when the next Olympics are. The next time they see you they’ll ask something like, “So, make it to the Olympics, yet?”
Deep down, you know how much more work and how many more years you will have to put in to make that dream a reality. You’ll have to get up early, train twice a day, and throw in a little work on top of it all to help pay the bills. This and more run through your head when all the person waiting on the other side probably wants is the short answer. Still, you’re thinking that there is always more you can do, always something to improve on to give you that little extra edge … “No, not yet, but I’m working on it,” you say.
Sometimes it’s scary to share your ultimate goal with others. What if you never reach that goal? Will they think of you as a failure? Or will they respect that you had enough courage to chase those dreams? In the end I’ve realized that if you are doing what you what makes you happy, then who cares what someone else might thing.
The reality is that we won’t all make it to the Olympics or even to the National Team. But as long as we’ve tried our best and enjoyed the time that we’ve put in, each of us will be able to walk away with our heads held high knowing we were true to our dreams. The friendships built on this team alone are enough to make it all worth it, but we will have also bettered ourselves along the way.
But enough of that. It’s time to get fast!