rowing shell

Nobody trains for second place. Especially when it come to rowing. Justify yourselves, rowers- You spend your spring break up at 6 am and spend every afternoon exhausting yourself. It all comes down to a six minute race. Are you going to prove yourself? If you’re not willing to give everything you’ve got, then go home!
—  A wise person who is yet anonymous
2

The boat is put to bed and so is this cycle of marathon training! Yesterday, Mike and my coach helped me get my rowing shell from the lake to the house and then hoisted up to it’s winter home- dangling from the ceiling of our garage. Every time I walk out the back door, I’ll be greeted with inspiration for winter training. 

I had been faithful with weight lifting for 5 years. In the second season of Ironman training. I just couldn’t keep up the volume, weight lift and recover well. It’s been two years since my last Ironman and I still haven’t returned to my previous schedule. I’ve had some spurts, but the last spurt was at least 3 months ago. Time to get those upper body muscles back! The minute Marine Corps Marathon is over, I’ll be a gym regular. 

Yesterday was also my last training run! Just two miles and honestly it felt kind of crappy. I tend to get stiff and running in the morning helps me move better all day. When I don’t run very much, I feel creaky and sore. No worries- 26.2 miles is plenty of time to warm up. And warm may be the operative word. Every time I look at the forecast it’s a few degrees warmer for race day. Whatever! I’m excited about the race and I’m excited for it to be over. 

Never Leave The Stream

Here we are: my first contribution to the Pearlrose Bomb, using a combination of several anon prompts from yesterday - thank you, once again!

Featuring full on Pink Diamond and rampant headcanon/speculation, brief appearances by Ruby and Sapphire, and Pearl supporting and comforting Rose, as something of change. ~1700 words

Never Leave The Stream


She supposed she should have been grateful that they only held these once per planetary revolution.

Everything about a public appearance and general address was built to impress - thus it supposedly followed that it had to be painstakingly rehearsed down to the last tiny and likely utterly inconsequential detail. In an incredibly rare occurrence of White wholeheartedly agreeing with her, it was a colossal waste of their time.

Yellow Diamond, bringer of order.

It was always so dramatic - carefully calculated for maximum effect, with hundreds of Gems toiling endless hours over elaborate, flashy stages. And for what?

White Diamond, bringer of knowledge.

The attending crowds were always wowed easily enough. Still, as Blue was so very fond of pointing out, there existed certain standards, and they had to be upheld.

Blue Diamond, bringer of prosperity.

But really, the way Blue talked about these things, one would think the fate of all Gemkind hinged on the ends of her cloak being lit just so - and she’d had more than one terrified agate Retired over a failure to properly handle technical difficulties.

Pink Diamond, bringer of life.

She could never quite make up her mind whether she loved or hated being last in their well-established order of appearance.

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An open letter to the NBC Network

So. The Olympics are coming to a close- coming to a close after an incredible, ground breaking (and record breaking) display of talent and skill from athletes across nations. From Simone Biles to Usain Bolt, from Michael Phelps to the O’Donnonvan brothers, records have been shattered at an astonishing level this year. But, with these Olympics, another issue has been brought to light, one bigger than this competition, and bigger than any one of those athletes. It’s the same issue that caused Fox news reporters to criticize our new American gold medalist gymnast for her hair, and commenting that he would not like to watch women compete if they finished their race, routine, or game looking like “a washed out rag” or that “her zits are showing.” It’s the same issue that caused countless news stations to credit a woman’s gold medal to her husband’s work rather than her own. It’s the same issue that made an Olympic swimmer mentioning the challenges posed by her menstrual cycle, be considered “groundbreaking” and “shocking.” And it’s the same issue that I cannot ignore when I am unable to watch the sports I love and the athletes I admire because my broadcasting service decides that I, as a woman, don’t really care about the competition or sport, but really only actually care about the Olympics as a “reality show” designed as simple, mindless entertainment.

When I hit the water in a rowing shell, when I move in unison with my teammates, I do not do it for the fun of it. Often, it’s not fun at all. It hurts. It hurts like hell and back, hurts like fire and electricity rippling through my muscles. But I do it because it makes me feel powerful. I do it because when I am hurting like words I cannot voice, like I cannot explain, I know that every woman in front of and behind me is feeling the same, in time and in harmony with me. It is an orchestra of pain and determination and strength and passion. It is beautiful. That is the essence of the Olympic games, the beauty and passion and flow of sport, the pain turned to pride, the failures building to victory. This is what I know in my heart as a rower- this is what all of the women who stand by me as my teammates and my friends know as rowers, as runners and gymnasts, as swimmers and divers and hurdlers and weight lifters. This is what we, as women, know. It is what we have earned as athletes. So no, I do not want to watch a washed out reality show when I turn on the Olympics. I don’t care about the gymnasts’ diets, or exactly who so-and-so was seen flirting with in the Olympic village. What I care about is turning on the TV and seeing women who aspire like me, who push like me and fight like me and refuse to give up. I want to see women I can look up to and admire for their persistence and strength. I want to see women valued for the very same things their men counterparts are valued for: their form, technique, strength and talent.

Perhaps, just now, we are too entranced with the glitter and flash of media’s vanity to reach that point just now. Possibly, then, we women just have to “be patient” until the time comes when we can be judged by our ability over our skin or hair or makeup. Maybe we just have to wait a few more years until we can openly talk about our bodies, the functions they perform and how they affect our athletic performances and abilities, without being considered radicals.

It might be a personal flaw, but I’m not terribly patient. I understand, as a network, the goal is the same: to attract views. But perhaps then the ideal way to do that is to consider real women and the athletes that they are, to consider that women fight and sweat and achieve in the same way and with the same passion as men, and that maybe, just maybe, if you can show five hours of unadulterated football, that they can honor the conglomeration of culture, passion, talent and spirit that is the Olympics enough to show all athletes of any gender, equal respect. And the same respect, in fact, to both of their viewers.

Sincerely,

@falltoash