Yesterday I turned a quarter century and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend the day. It was my first race of the season for University of Toronto Rowing. We raced at the Head of the Trent regatta in Peterborough, ON http://www.headofthetrent.ca/index.html . It’s a 5 km head race (as opposed to a standard 2km sprint), down the beautiful Otonabee river ending at the heart of the University of Trent campus.
It’s been a few years since I raced that race, and since it’s fairly lengthy I was a little nervous about how we’d do. I was racing the Heavyweight Women’s Coxed Four and this was our first time rowing together…ever. I’m happy to say that we finished the race and were not last. That’s about the extent of the positive things I can say. It was rough, rushed and painful, but you’ve got to start somewhere. The four was supposed to be my only race of the day, but immediately following our race our coach informed us that we needed another body to race the Women’s Double. Now the double is a two person boat and instead of sweeping (one oar), the rowers are sculling, two oars. This is not my forte, but I really enjoy doing it, so we hopped in and paddle off down to the start of the course. The race was shortened, so only about 3km but strangely didn’t feel that bad. Don’t get me wrong, our performance was not stellar, but for not having sculled for a long, long time I think we did alright. It definitely felt better to me than the first race.
Aside from the racing the day continued to be a fun filled one. I saw many old friends that I haven’t seen in a long time and it was great to catch up. Also, my parents, who live about 40 min away from the race course came down to show some support and wish me a happy birthday. They also bought a wonderful picnic, complete with pumpkin pie (as no birthday is right without one!). Before the races we enjoyed a lunch of tuna sandwiches, tea and pie. I also got some wonderful gifts.
After the regatta we had a longish drive back to Toronto where I was met with the most wonderful birthday surprise.
My boyfriend, who lives two hours away and couldn’t make it out to the regatta because of work had snuck away and was sneakily waiting for me when I got home. Flowers and everything! It was really the perfect ending to a pretty amazing and productive 25th birthday.
It’s a great feeling to have such wonderful people surrounding you in life that support you and will go that extra mile to be there, both when it really matters and when it’s simply nice to see familiar faces. Thanks.