PRINCETON, N.J. - Junior Alicia Kapjian-Pitt contributed her blog from Princeton on Wednesday, covering the lightweight rowing team's trip to Philadelphia and inspirational words from a former walk-on.
From Jersey to Philly and Back Again
by junior Alicia Kapjian-Pitt
We are now halfway done with our training on the East Coast and today was just as momentous as our first days here. Our morning row began with some light rain, which inspired a coastal divide where the Californians in the boat were accused of not knowing what real weather was like. Al (Acosta) only made it worse when he jokingly claimed that the rain we were experiencing could be likened to San Francisco’s fog. After some playful banter, we quickly snapped into focus and got our work done on the water. We de-rigged our boats and loaded them back on the trailer as that was our last row on Lake Carnegie. While our boats were heading to Lake Mercer, we were off to a different location; Philadelphia.
Our reasoning for venturing out to “Philly” was not for better practice water, rather it was for something much more personal, but we still had to get there first. On the way, Jordan (Duval-Smith) drove while Bailey (Yuro) played the role of navigator and Allison (Nguyen), Brittany (Presten), Christine (Cavallo) and Mackenzie (Crist) napped. I have always been, and will always be, astounded by Allison’s ability to nap. Whether it’s on the way to or coming back from practice, Allison has the uncanny ability to nap regardless of noise-level and today was no different. Everyone had woken up by the time we passed the “Rocky Steps.” Continuing on our way through the city, we finally arrived at University of Pennsylvania’s boathouse on boathouse row.
After our arrival and being shown around the boathouse, we got to work taking oars down and moving boats around until Reagan arrived. Reagan had walked onto our team in the fall after going through the Marine Corps but had returned home, near Philly, after finding out she had cancer. After going through her second to last round of chemo in the morning she joined our coaches in the launch during our row along the Schuylkill. The scenery along the river was impressive but I think its safe to say that we were all more impressed with Reagan’s story and strength of character. As she spoke to us about her treatment I stood there in awe of her story and her positive outlook. When she was done speaking, her brother, who had accompanied her to the boathouse, informed us that Reagan has continued to stay fit even as she has been going through chemo. At this point my admiration reached an even deeper level. Once she was done speaking we presented her with one of our styling red bucket hats and finished the day off with a loud Stanford cheer.
I left the boathouse with a new can-do attitude. Reagan’s actions were inspiring and uplifting. Returning to the vans, the team was abuzz with positive vibes, which we carried all the way home. Our upbeat mood lent itself to playing car games like, “Contact” and “Convergence", both games resulting in oodles of laughter. I think as a result of our positive experience in Philly, we were much livelier and no one fell asleep, not even Allison. Tomorrow will be our first row on the racecourse, Lake Mercer.
Update: Spandex tan has hit a new high, the contrast forming is astounding and impressive.