By the time Jon Casarrubias’ alarm goes off in his dorm room, many college students just went to sleep. It is really a marvel how someone can put themselves through this day in and day out — the life of a collegiate rower.
“It really is hard to explain why I still do it,” said Casarrubias, a novice team rower. “I just love the sport and that’s what motivates me to wake up every day.”
Although not everyone on crew has the same schedule, the following routine is what Casarrubias goes through on a daily basis, ever since the beginning of the school year.
4:20 A.M.: It’s time to wake up, roll out of bed and get to work. It may seem strange that crew has to wake up this early, but it’s a time of little boat traffic on the Lake Washington Ship Canal. They can have little to no interruptions.
4:50: Everyone gathers at the boat house to prepare for another morning workout. Boats are starting to be carried out of the shell house.
5:00: A warm-up is necessary before going out on the water. It’s safe to say that most of these athletes are still waking up at this point.
5:20: It’s time to hit the water. Although they row on the same waters every day, there’s always room for improvement. A race time can still be trimmed down further.
6:50: After a full morning of practice, most students are still sleeping at SPU. But after an hour and a half of rowing, all the crew members have accomplished way more than I ever will before 7 in the morning.
7:10: Everyone is out of the shell house and it’s time for a Gwinn breakfast. One of the many benefits of doing crew: no line for omelets at this time in the morning.
If you are a lightweight rower like Casarrubias, then you could have a special diet.
“I just have to avoid fats and sugars,” he said. “I have to be really wary of what I eat.”
7:45: By this time, most of these athletes are starting to head their separate ways. Some of the students at SPU are just starting to wake around campus as well.
After breakfast, everyone on crew has their own schedule. That could range from going off to class for the day or taking a lengthy nap.
“What I like to do personally is take a long shower and take a long nap,” Casarrubias said. “It’s really the only way that I can get through the rest of my day.”
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, he has class from 11:00-12:20 and from 1:30-2:50. Then again from 1:00-3:00 on Tuesday and Thursday.
3:00 P.M: By this time in the afternoon, it’s time for a secondary workout.
Whether that’s weightlifting or using the stationary crew boats, there are multiple ways to conduct this mandatory workout. Either way, they work out a lot during a normal day.
After the secondary workout, crew members are like us, believe it or not. They do homework and many other things that a typical student does.
10:30: Casarrubias calls it a day. Another full day of crew and school awaits when that 4:20 wakeup call comes again.
Now you can fully understand what goes on during a normal day as a crew athlete.
Although the hours seem absurd at times, it shows the great dedication these athletes have.
So the next time you roll over in bed at 5:37 A.M., just remember that crew is out there rowing already.