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posted Aug 19, 2014, 2:11 PM by City Island Athlete
    We were in the stake boat, and there was one minute until the green light would flash, and we would be on. The whole thing is kind of a blur, and all I remember is skulling Courtney's oar. We had only practiced this boat once, but I knew that every girl in it was prepared to give it there all. The light flashed and we were out. The exhiliration was unreal. We went through the start sequence at like a 50, and since I couldn't hear Natalie I was just power tening, wondering when the stroke rate would go down, and we would  settle into our stride. At the thousand meter mark I accepted the fact that the stroke rate was going to stay high, and I realized that that was what real racing felt like. 
    During the U19 eight race, I dug a lot deeper, and found a new kind of racing in myself. At points during the race, I thought I was going to die of an asthma attack (and I don't have asthma), and I was seriously considering jumping out. Then I thought about the girl behind me and in front of me, and I continued to dig a little deeper.I was racing for every girl in the boat, and since I care so much about everyone, being in so much pain and fighting until the end was totally worth it. At the end of the race, my throat was on fire and I could barely move, but somehow it was the most rewarding feeling I have ever experienced. I knew that I just gave it my all, and even though the results weren't exactly what we were hoping for, the experience was once in a lifetime. 
    One thing that was special to me, was the amount of support floating around the team. Hearing everyone cheering as we were coming down the course was something special, and gave me the excitement to keep pushing. Knowing that everyone is always genuinely happy for you no matter their results, and knowing that everyone is always cheering for you to do your best is a special thing that not everyone can say they have, and it is one of the reasons we are all so close.  
    Looking back on the week, I think everyone would agree that it was a blast. The team became so much closer, and all of our friendships were strengthened with great new memories. We had a fabulous train ride up together, we got to see Niagara falls together, and we shared many laughs at many meals. I was so sad when the week had to come to an end, and I cannot wait for next year!

-Alexa
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