Find your competitive edge in rowing

T.C. Williams rowing coach and Alexandria Community Rowing masters rower Andrea Huggins shares her love for the sport.

rowing
Photo courtesy of Alexandria Community Rowing

T.C. Williams rowing coach and Alexandria Community Rowing masters rower Andrea Huggins shares her love for the sport.

Tell us a little about competitive rowing.

We meet five days a week, Monday through Friday, and then we race on Saturdays or Sundays, depending on what the race schedule looks like. I do primarily sweep rowing, so it’s one oar, compared to sculling, which is rowing with two oars. We practice from about 5:15 until about 7 a.m.

What are the biggest challenges?

Part of it is definitely getting up early—you know the saying, “The hardest part is getting to the gym.” But then the rest of it is just the workouts are tough. It’s hard, but having the boat move together, having eight women move together as one cohesive unit is beautiful to watch. And achieving that is almost like a state of Zen.

How does being outside factor into your enjoyment of the sport?

I find the most peace when I’m at the water. It’s the fresh air. It’s being able to see the sunrise every morning.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking about getting into rowing?

There’s a Learn to Row Day every year. It’s held at boathouses throughout the nation, and anyone can show up and try it out.

Alexandria Community Rowing

Home to sweepers and scullers of varying levels, the Alexandria Community Rowing club has about 175 members and an active rowing season from April through early November. To learn more about the club, housed at the Dee Campbell Rowing Facility on Madison Street in Old Town, check out the website.

(July 2017 Outdoor Fun Guide)

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