Ready and Waiting in Lucerne

Hello again, from Switzerland this time–the USA women have transitioned from our lovely two week camp in Breisach to the more familiar setting of Lucerne.  We arrived on Sunday afternoon and have been easing in to our new routine over the past few days as we focus in on this weekend’s racing.
Lucerne is a little different for us this year in that we are prepping for our racing while surrounded by hundreds of other athletes who are right in the middle of some very important racing of their own for the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.  For them, it’s their last chance to punch a ticket to London.  For us, it’s even more reason to put the blinders on and stay completely focused on what we are here to do.  Our tickets are a long way from being punched, and racing this weekend in Lucerne is just one of several remaining steps for USA athletes in the W4X, W2- and W8+.

That having been said, it’s lovely to be back here.  We’ve missed the worst of the weather (so far), the food is good, the beds are good, and it’s nice to not be slogging through jet lag as we sometimes do with this trip.  Our faithful waitstaff is still here at our hotel, as sharp and obliging as ever.  I’m back rooming with Ellen after having a hiatus from one another in Breisach and we’ve done a thorough job of creating the illusion of having been squatting in our hotel room for well over three weeks instead of just three days.  We had a pretty relaxed first day yesterday, so for our afternoon “workout” we took a short walk over to the canal to snap a few photos and to do my favorite thing there is to do in Lucerne: feed the swans.
There is rarely a time when I’m out and about that I’m not keenly aware of the local avian population–to the point where my closer friends on the team swear up and down that I must have been a feline in a former life.  At home in Princeton, it’s Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles; in Chula Vista it’s Western Grebes and hummingbirds; when we’re here in Lucerne, it has to be the swans.  The Mute Swan population here are very docile–at least on the canal–no doubt from years of experience being hand fed by big softies like me.  But I love them nonetheless and am fascinated by the aesthetic and behavior of the giant white residents of Lucerne’s waterways.  Yesterday, we had the close company of just one couple of swans, but who were basically sitting in my lap, happily eating all of the bread I’d brought with me to the canal.  I snagged a few photos of them before sauntering back to the hotel and tucking in to dinner.

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We’re back to the Rotsee this afternoon for another row, and then continue to buckle down over the next few days to get things smooth and sharp for racing on Friday.  Looking forward to tomorrow when most everyone else who isn’t already here will roll in to town, and the lake will really come alive with its unique spirit and energy.  Gotta love Lucerne.

Long Live the Dream,

–MK

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