Break’s Over, On to the Real Thing

Happy New Year!
So far 2010 has been full of surprises, which is incredible and slightly overwhelming since it is a mere four days old. Some good, some bad–such as being elected to the USRowing High Performance Committee by my peers as an Athlete Representative, as well as the news that I get to pull a 6k on Wednesday (I’ll let you guess which is the good news). But regardless, I finished up 2009 in a great way with my family at my parents’ new place in Tucson, exploring, training and getting to know a new community that I hope will become a regular haunt.

After Christmas, my family and I spent the afternoon hiking the eastern half of Saguaro National Park. This was an exciting outing for me as, one of my many life goals includes visiting all of the United States National Parks. By visiting Saguaro, I brought my total up to 17:

Arches
Badlands
Bryce Canyon
Canyonlands
Capitol Reef
Carlsbad Caverns
Glacier
Grand Canyon
Grand Teton
Joshua Tree
North Cascades
Olympic
Saguaro
Rocky Mountain
Theodore Roosevelt (ND)
Yellowstone
Zion

The desert parks are very interesting but not exciting to me in the same way that the mountain parks are. Having just visited Joshua Tree in 2008, I felt that Saguaro looked and felt very similar in landscape (with the very obvious difference being the large desert plant life after which they are named)…probably also echoed by visiting the two parks at around the same time of year. Even so, the stark beauty of the Saguaro landscape and the incredible weirdness of the giant cacti that thrive there was a lot of fun to explore with my family.

Now I’m in my first day of our first winter training camp of 2010, back at the OTC in Chula Vista. I arrived yesterday morning to the wonderful, hot, sunny San Diego that I remembered…and was thankful that I’d worn a dress to travel in. It’s supposed to be in the 70s all week…and this morning I had my first spin back in the single in a uni and a t-shirt. It was glorious. And the lake was just us in our singles with just one lone kayaker to share with.

Resident athletes are trickling back in and women’s softball arrives today so it won’t be long before the training center is bustling with activity. Looking forward to getting down to business and also to reconnecting with old friends. Viva Training Camp!

Long Live the Dream,

–MK

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