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The Waiting Game
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Redman at start of Monday's heat

Jamie Redman

September 1, 2011
With only a day until our Final, it’s not surprising that we’re all starting to feel a little bit antsy. At our team meeting last night, Coach gave us some sage advice for surviving the next twenty-four hours: “Rest, stay healthy, and try not to drive each other crazy.” Wise, wise words.

Everyone has a different method for coping with the restless energy and anxious excitement that thrives in this prerace atmosphere.  Some rowers find outlet through cerebral pursuits, and spend their hours reading books or solving crossword puzzles. Others become rowing aficionados, and eagerly watch the live feed in the hotel lobby, offering their opinion on all matters of technical advice and racing strategy.

But for many of us, these pre-race hours witness an unusual (and often hilarious!) regression into childish distractions.   A prime example: at the 2009 Worlds in Poland, my roommate and I spent hours creating an elaborate “tapestry” with the hotel stationary and a deluxe box of Crayola crayons.  Juvenile? Perhaps. But did it keep the pre-race jitters at bay?  Absolutely!

The past few days in Bled have seen some similar antics. The evening after our heat, still a bit loopy from our postrace nap, we spent an entire bus ride bedazzling ourselves (and several unsuspecting athletes!) with “Happy 4th of July!” stickers. Several boatmates delightedly grew a crop of sponge animals in the bathtub. And last night, Esther’s collection of rubber duckies made an appearance during our ice bath in the alpine stream, much to the amusement of chuckling onlookers. As for myself, I find myself enthralled by the vintage children’s movies on Slovenian cable: I sat captivated for almost ninety minutes as I watched a ten-year-old Elijah Wood discover the meaning of “family” under the guidance of Bruce Willis in a pink Easter Bunny costume. (I think the movie is called “North”… definitely Oscar-worthy! ha).

In twenty-four hours, this waiting game will be over, and we’ll go back to the educated, sophisticated, and mature young women we are. But until then, we’ll do what we can to stay sane, even if sanity requires that we resort to childlike pastimes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Disney movies to get back to…


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