Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Care Package

   I knew when I decided to pursue training full-time that my life would be a nomadic one. We spend somewhere between three and seven months each year away from Princeton at training camps and races, and in Princeton, "home" is the (admittedly amazing) guest room of my host family. If I'm lucky, I make it to my parents' house in southern California a few scattered days each year.

   However, one of the great things about being a nomad is receiving care packages from home. This Thursday I came home to a big box waiting on the porch. In it? Nothing spectacular: a bunch of clothes I'd sent home with my parents from the World Championships, some mail, and a note. But what was so special about it was that it was from home--a little link to the parents and brother that I don't get to see often.

   It's interesting, though--talking to athletes from other countries and reading interviews, we actually are "home" quite a bit. Many rowers from Asia, Australia, and New Zealand are abroad from May to September every year, and also travel to training camps. I''ve read that Chinese rowers often leave home to train in their teens and may not get to go home until they meet with success in their rowing careers or else after they've ended. And some rowers from Sweden and Norway live and race abroad for nearly the entire year.

   So there are quite a few of us out there who've lived out of our cars, who've moved somewhere far away, who travel across the country and around the world in pursuit of our racing dreams. I have no second thoughts about living the life of a nomad: I get to go to some truly amazing places and the whole time, I have the luxury of doing something that I love and that is an incredibly rewarding journey. But man, do I love those care packages and the little glimpse of home they give!

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