Rachael isn't new to rowing, coaching, or the GPRF, but she brings a breath of fresh air whenever we interact with her. Her welcoming smile is incredibly appropriate as she is often the first person new members interact with at the Pocock Rowing Center. We learned about some of her favourite memories in rowing, and her current go-to workout.
How long have you been part of the GPRF?
I started working as a coach in September 2019 and then joined as the Member Services rep in December 2019.
How does your position impact the GPRF?
My position impacts the GPRF because I am part of the support system for the Pocock Rowing Center, a community boathouse of the GPRF. I am often the first point of contact that new athletes and parents have with the organization. By helping them navigate the administrative end of becoming a member or signing up for a youth program I am helping them eventually get on the water and continue their rowing journey.
Where and when did you start rowing?
I started rowing as a walk on in 2015 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.
What is your favourite memory of rowing?
My favorite memory of rowing was when my team was beach launching in March, in Spokane, and the lake had unfrozen only days before. It was awful and freezing and everyday after practice we would get in the car and blast hot air on our feet the whole ride back to school. My favorite memory is when my 8 was coming in at the wrong angle and was going to run aground. My coach yelled from his launch for me to get in the water and stop it. I promptly yelled back, without thinking, "no way!". After a couple horrifying seconds passed and I realized that I had just yelled at and intentionally defied my head coach, I sheepishly got waist deep into the ice cold water and stopped the boat. Something about the lunacy of what we were doing was hilarious and I laughed about it the rest of the practice and car ride home.
Who inspires you the most in the sport?
Every single athlete who continues rowing through the tough times.
As cliche as it sounds, my family inspires me. My parents with their ability and willingness to help others and push through any difficulties that come their way. My sister, as she teaches high schoolers who don't make the job easy. My brother who helps people every day as a public defender. I have a pretty amazing group of people who I can rely on and look up to as they spend their lives helping others.
How has your rowing experience changed during COVID-19
My rowing experience currently is as a coach. When COVID-19 hit we went from coaching daily in team boats to nothing at all, to only coaching in singles. Nothing could have prepared me for coaching middle school athletes in singles everyday for a year. It is incredibly stressful but also very eye opening and exciting.
What advice would you give to someone considering rowing for the first time?
Don't be afraid to fall in. Everyone does it and once you do, you'll realize it's not so bad.
Do you have a favourite workout?
I am a big fan of climbing hills on the stationary bike!