As I’m sitting in my new apartment on campus, I honestly cannot believe classes will be starting tomorrow. I feel like I was moving into my Princeton apartment just days ago, and shyly introducing myself to the staff at USRowing.
I finished up my internship a little less than a week ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the USRowing Masters National Championships. Any rower over the age of 21 is eligible to compete at Masters Nationals, and unlike Youth Nationals there is no qualification process. The event ran Thursday through Sunday, with the heats and finals for fifty events each day. Because the event covers so many age groups, races are grouped into alphabetized categories starting at AA (age 21-26) all the way up through J (80+).
The age group categorization makes our normal change forms a bit more complex because the event in which each boat is entered is determined based on average age of all competitors in the boat. Luckily, the event went off without any major issues and we got an incredible amount of complementary feedback about the venue and the regatta itself.
Although all Buckeyes are taught to hate the state up north, I have to admit Grand Rapids is a really fabulous little town. The city prides itself on being the craft brew capitol of the United States, and we had the opportunity to enjoy many breweries during our visit. As an added bonus, the regatta also had a beer garden which was open from 10am to 6pm every day, with a special brew just for the event!
The final farewell:
My flight from Grand Rapids back to Columbus left at 5:45 Monday morning, so Sunday night after dinner I was left to say goodbye to the rest of the interns and most of the staff. I still don’t think it’s hit me that I won’t be seeing the people who I spent almost every day, including weekends with for quite some time. Luckily, the other events interns, Angela, only lives about twenty minutes away from me at home and Princeton isn’t too far from home either. I’ve already started planning my Pacific Northwest adventure to visit another one of the interns and of course we’ve been keeping in close contact about life post-USRowing.
Looking back at this summer, it was nothing like what I expected, but I also learned so much. I went into this internship thinking I knew exactly what went on behind the scenes at a regatta, when really, I had absolutely no idea. My internship opened my eyes not only to the process of planning and running a regatta, but to the world of Olympic sports. I learned sometimes there really is only one way of doing things, even if I want to find my own way. I also realize the people you work with can make or break an experience and I was incredibly fortunate to have an incredible group of interns and staff supporting me. And most importantly, next time I enter a regatta I will most definitely think twice before changing my lineup.