Training Center Tuesday: Molly Bruggeman

Several members of USRowing Training Center – Princeton currently are rowing in Chula Vista, Calif. Those training center athletes, as well as others across the country, will be offering up their perspective on #TrainingCenterTuesday.

Five hundred days. What does that number mean? Well, with training two to three times a day and up to seven days a week, that’s just over 1,100 training sessions — 1,100 instances on the water, on the erg, or in the weight room to prepare ourselves for one race. That may seem like a big number, but in the minds of Olympic hopefuls, it seems like just enough.

Time is a tricky thing for rowers. When I think about only having one month left in Chula Vista, time seems to go by so quickly. I can only imagine the next 500 days will feel just as short.

At the training center, two years, six years, 11 years of training is not unheard of for us. Many see the time we put in as a sacrifice, not as part of “the real world.” But, it is real, and it is a choice we make everyday. We are all bound by our time spent together — all the blood and sweat — but no amount of time is a guarantee of anything.

Along with time, what we deal with everyday is the unknown. There are at least 30 women training in our group, as well as an even larger number of women training at various clubs around the country. Not everyone is going to make it to the starting line in Tokyo. Olympic selection is an honor and outstanding achievement, but the women who end up on the other side after going through the same gut-wrenching process are equally commendable. The one thing we can do in the face of the unknown is continue to live and train in the moment.

We can only control what we are doing and how we are doing it one stroke at a time. Tom (Terhaar) likes to remind us to breathe before every hard erg test or race. I think it’s his way of reminding us to be in the moment even when things start to get tough. We all know things will continue to be tough and only get harder from here. We have 500 days to continue improving and to tackle our training one day, one practice, one stroke at a time. Just keep breathing.


Article written by United States Training Center – Princeton athlete, Molly Bruggeman.

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