A Purdue Crew Update – February 2021

On every gray cloud, there is a silver lining.  Ours is a fundamental program reset.  Oh, the dark, gloomy winter workouts are just as challenging and daunting.  Those will not change. But the motivation to persevere is not the anticipation of spring competitions, it is a heightened awareness that just being able to train together is simply the reward.  After an athlete is quarantined, they are so excited to be back training with the group, that motivation to work hard with others is intrinsic.  This is a real positive for the program.

In previous winter seasons, spring competitions were viewed as an entitlement if you survived the winter training madness.  Presently, for this spring, the competitions will not happen as Purdue University is prohibiting all travel with exceptions related to research and Intercollegiate Athletics.  Now, with no spring competitions to look forward to, we all are aware of how fortunate we are to have the simple opportunity, the privilege, to train together as a team.  In looking to warmer spring training days, the anticipation to pull strokes as part of a crew, even while nursing blisters and sucking for air through a mask, has a renewed excitement, purpose, and reward.

So this semester’s dark days of land-based training are just like the past with runs in parking garages, along the Wabash River trails, up through Happy Hollow Park, out to the Nature Center, and recently to Slayter Hill for “figure 8s”.  Strength training is incorporated on running days at the Boathouse weight room.  All of our indoor rowing is done at the CoRec in the MAC Gym.  As you can see from the picture, it is an expansive area that is generously reserved for just the crew by our Division of Recreation & Wellness.  The crew has exclusive use of this area from 7-9 AM and from 3:45 – 7:45 PM daily along with Saturday morning from 7 AM – 12 PM. 

There are some differences this spring semester as you might guess; they are all CoVid related.  Our ergometer workout sessions are limited to 25 people including coaches and the strength training is limited to 12 athletes due to distancing, de-densifying, and building air turnover requirements.  These restrictions are being managed through additional training sessions with all athletes being assigned to a specific workout time and to facilitate CoVid tracking and tracing.  Naturally, masks are required at all indoor workouts.

Spirits are high as our athletes challenge each other to earn the respect and trust of their teammates.

That’s all for now.

Dave