contributed by John FX Flynn, row2k
There might only be two kinds of rowers in the world: those who have slept through morning practice, and those who will sleep through one, one of these days. Getting up for morning practice has always been a bear, and there is no end of distractions--good and bad--that keep weary rowers from actually turning in a full eight hours before the morning bell.
So, what are the best tricks to make sure you stay out of the former category long enough to make the top boat and win it all? Here's a quick round up of our favorites--maybe you can suggest some better ones in the comments below.
The Multiple Alarms Gambit: always a hit with non-rowing roommates, this one is pretty simple. You set the alarms on your clock, your phone, your extra clock, the radio, the TV, and anything else in the room with an alarm or auto-on feature, thus ensuring a pre-dawn cacophony of sound that will send you on your way in time. An advanced version of this, for the truly stubborn sleeper, is to set the multiple alarms at different 1-2 minute intervals, so the din gets progressively louder. (We have no advice for you on how to deal with the irate roommate.)
The Alarm-Out-of-Reach Trick: Stashing the alarm out of reach--ideally, all the way across the cold, bracing floor of your room--is one way to make sure that you are actually out of bed when you shut the alarm off. Doesn't always work for heavy sleepers, of course, and works a lot better if the bed is not a convenient place to return to on your way to the door.
The Wake-Up Buddy Approach: a great tactic for rowers who live in a dorm or have rowing housemates…as long as your wake-up buddy is using one of these other tricks AND is not going to win any seat-races by "forgetting" to wake you up. One other caveat: your actual roommate is probably not the best wake-up buddy, because if the alarm in your room doesn't work for you, it probably won't work for them, either.
The Light-Sleeping Roommate Ruse: how many punctual rowers are really just there on time because their roommate kicked them and their ringing alarm clock out the door as soon as it went off? We may never know, but there has to be some reason that rowers always seem to wind up living in groups eventually--and we assume folks who live a "life" that involves actually sleeping past dawn every day find each other, too.
Have any other tricks to make sure you are there all the time? Let us know in the comments below--and remember, no matter what your best excuse might be--my phone battery died, it was set for pm not am, I didn't know it was on vibrate, the power went out in my dorm--none of that really matters when your boat shoves off without you and Coach is shaking his head.
Have a great rowing hack for future inclusion here? Send it to us!