Returning to England

There are SO many reasons that I’m excited to return to England (having spent a year abroad there during undergrad), but here are some highlights of what I can’t wait to return to! –

1. English sport culture!  Really, who knows the rules of cricket?  Also, I’m a die-hard soccer (sorry, footbol) fan, so I can’t wait to be in a country that lives & breathes it!  Oh, and rugby – must learn to love that, too!  Here I am at a rugby game last year in Bath, England. 

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2. Rowing culture.  Do I even have to mention the fact that rowing is a way of life there, too? Match made in heaven.

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3. The History.  It’s mind-blowing to be at a university whose buildings are so much older than the founding of your native country.  Seriously, I would walk past buildings form the 1300 and 1400s in Oxford, every single day.  Likewise in Cambridge.  It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so much (beautiful) history.

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4. Pub Life!   I love the casual drinking with friends culture (rather than the ‘party party party’ culture perpetuated in the States).  Pubs also have delicious food, my favorite being meat pies.  Delicious.  Oh, and they’re all so cute and usually old-as-all-else.  They’re perfect for people watching, too.

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5. Fancy balls!  Oxford and Cambridge boast some incredible balls throughout the year, culminating in astounding spring balls.  They all have great themes, abounding food and drink, and awesome company.  And who really doesn’t love an excuse to dress up?

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6. Punting.  The coolest way to pass time in the nicer months of the year, and a great place for a picnic.  You already know my love of boats.

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7. The accents.  Sure, I’ve been dating a Brit for quite awhile, but the accent absolutely never gets old.  How can it?  I also the range of accents, from South to North, England.  They vary so much!  I was once very good at distinguishing regional accents, so I hope that I get that back!  I always love some of their phrases (‘brilliant,’ ‘bugger,’ ‘banter,’ anyone?).

Nearly the 5 week count-down until I move to England!

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A Rather Random Assortment

The USA Women’s 8 cruised to GOLD today… becoming one of the most winningest boats, ever.

They haven’t been beaten in 6 years.

If that doesn’t speak to incredible coaching, athleticism and state of mind, I don’t know what does.  Sure inspires me!  (Along with the magnificent showing by the ladies gymnasts and the greatest Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps).  Hello, America!  You rock.

In other news, my internship here in Washington is drawing to a close.  Many good memories, made better by the fabulous group of interns I’ve had the pleasure of working with!

In true Olympic fashion…

we won gold.

Celebration will ensue tonight at a nearby pub (I know, so British of us….) where much wine will be consumed.  Currently, I am consuming a Georgetown cupcake (salted caramel, if you must know).

Life is good. 

If any of you joined in on the workout I posted yesterday (Fatigue for Process), I hope your quads are screaming as much as mine are today.  I’ve had to stand up and walk around the office several times already, just to make sure they don’t get tighter.  I managed to do the leg portion of the workout twice through (holy ouch), and the ab portion once through since my hip flexors were being a bit angry.  I then hopped on the arc trainer for 20 minutes (already sweating a boatload), and then did some physiotherapy backward-incline-walking on the treadmill for 8ish minutes.

Happy working out, eating, and living today!

How to Use an Indoor Rowing Machine

My worst nightmare is watching people row incorrectly on the indoor rowing machine (really called an ergometer, but to us rowers, an erg).  You will see me, beetle-eyed and crazy, staring at you from the arc machine across the way.  I will be preventing myself, with every ounce of being, not to correct your form.

Don’t make Brie sad.

Don’t be that person.  Here’s how to row correctly Smile

Also – it’s literally the best full body workout that you can get from a cardio machine.  If the erg isn’t your friend yet, become acquainted!  I’m not saying it’s pleasant or anything, but damn, is it worthwhile.

Right.  So, there are two terms to understand when rowing.  One: the catch.  This is the moment when your arms are outstretched and your legs fully engaged.  In an actual boat, your oar would just be about to drop into the water.

Second term you should know is the finish.  This is when your oar has come out of the water, when you have successfully completed a stroke.

Following thus far?  Excellent, excellent!

This is the correct progression from CATCH to FINISH and back to CATCH:

Teaching the “drive” (from catch to finish), and the “recovery” (from finish to catch)

 

Don’t do these things:

What NOT to do.

 

Rowing is one of the most beautiful things out there, and such a good workout.

Go get your sweat on!

And hop in a boat if you’re so inclined…