10 things I learned in 12 months of rowing

1. Never forget the fundamentals: Put the blade in. Pull. Get the blade out. That’s all it takes and it’s easy to over complicate things, so make sure you’re doing the basics better than anyone else before you think about the extras.

 2. Have confidence in your ability: Success requires belief, if you don’t think you can win then you never will. If you’re in a boat then your coach knows you’re good enough, if you’re not in a boat find out what it takes to get there.

3. Take no shortcuts: Rowing is a sport unlike most in that 99% of the result is down to the work you put in on a daily basis. During those sessions when you’re tired and cold and lacking motivation ask yourself if your competitors would be up this early, training this hard. If the answer is no then you’re doing something right.

4. It will be unpleasant: Suck it up. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I don’t need a speed coach to tell me I’m going Pretty Fucking Hard right now, and it’s not important whether I’m pulling 300 or 310 watts, it hurts all the same.

5. Never lose sight of the bigger picture: It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day monotony of training when summer seems so far away and you’re not seeing any improvements. Just think back 6 months and see how far you’ve come, and look forward 6 months to remind yourself of the goal and why you do this. However…

6. Focus on the small things: Anyone can get up at 5am and do 15k before lectures. Anyone can stay up and do another 15k while everyone else has gone to the bar. But it’s the little things- nutrition, stretching, recovery- which will make the difference between everyone else and you. You have 240 strokes in a race- if you can make each one half a percent better, you’ll come out on top.

7. Control the controllables: You don’t know how fast your teammates will be in a seat race. You don’t know other crews’ race plan on the start line. The only thing you can control is how fast you go and how deep you’re willing to push yourself, so don’t stress about what others are doing.

8.  Appreciate how fortunate you are: Take the time to take in your surroundings occasionally, the fact you get to see a stunning sunrise every morning, the fact you’re able to spend your time doing something so worthwhile with your best friends. Be thankful for the people around you; your family, your friends, say thank you to your coach after every session, they don’t have to be there.

9. Don’t half ass it: If you don’t really love it, the competition is too fierce and the standard is too high and the demands too tough to continue on that path. Once it becomes a chore, it’s over. Have fun, do it with passion, but if it feels like a chore at 17 you’ll never make it.

10. Never stop learning: Soak up every drop of knowledge you can, filter the crap and keep the gold. Ask questions, ask your coach why you’re doing a drill, ask your friends what they had for breakfast, ask senior rowers what they did to get in the top boat. Google is your friend: read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch what the best in the world are doing and compare them to your own performance.


In case you didn’t know, NASA has some serious sciart game when it comes to their mission posters. This is just a fraction of the full galleries for both Shuttle and Space Station missions. I love how all the astronauts are clearly so into this. 

Enjoy your Sunday rabbit hole. 

- Summer


Young Thug and His Crew Were Surrounded by a SWAT Team in Pittsburgh

Local police and a SWAT team rushed them with guns in hand. The incident went down following Young Thug’s performance at Summer Jam at the Southside Event Center.

Authorities were initially called in because a member of security reported seeing a member of Thug’s crew “swinging” a gun. The members of Young Thug’s crew that were armed provided valid paperwork for their firearms, and the incident was later diffused.

The police went completely too far in their actions. Everyone who was strapped, had legit conceal papers. Was it because it was bunch of young, black men talking loud and a little wreckless after a rap show? Clearly a case of profiling. #Hate it!

Space Station Research: Observing Earth

Each month, we highlight a different research topic on the International Space Station. In April, our focus is how the space station provides a platform for studying the Earth.

You might wonder how a laboratory 250 miles above Earth could help us study and observe our home planet, but the space station actually gives us a unique view of the blue marble we call home.

The space station is part of a fleet of Earth remote-sensing platforms to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s systems and its response to natural or human-induced changes and to improve prediction of climate, weather and natural hazards. Unlike automated remote-sensing platforms, the space station has a human crew, a low-orbit altitude and orbital parameters that provide variable views and lighting. Crew members have the ability to collect unscheduled data of an unfolding event, like severe weather, using handheld digital cameras.

The Cupola, seen above, is one of the many ways astronauts aboard the space station are able to observe the Earth. This panoramic control tower allows crew members to view and guide operations outside the station, like the station’s robotic arm.

The space station also has an inclined, sun-asynchronous orbit, which means that it travels over 90% of the inhabited surface of the Earth, and allows for the station to pass over ground locations at different times of the day and night. This perspective is different and complimentary to other orbiting satellites.

The space station is also home to a few Earth-observing instruments, including:

The ISS-RapidScat monitors ocean winds for climate research, weather prediction and hurricane science. This vantage point gives scientists the first near-global direct observations of how ocean winds can vary over the course of the day, while adding extra eyes in the tropics and mid-latitudes to track the formation and movement of tropical cyclones.

CATS (Cloud-Aerosol Transport System) is a laser instrument that measures clouds and airborne particles such as pollution, mineral dust and smoke. Improving cloud data allows scientists to create more accurate climate models, which in turn, will improve air quality forecasts and health risk alerts.

In late 2016, we will launch Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III). This experiment will measure ozone and other gases in the atmosphere to help scientists assess how the ozone layer is recovering.

Want to observe the Earth from a similar vantage point? You can thanks to our High Definition Earth-Viewing System (HDEV). This experiment is mounted on the exterior of the space station and includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the Earth.

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