Congratulations to all of our CARP athletes who attended the BAYADA Regatta in Philadelphia on August 17. Capital athletes raced in eight events, winning six gold and two silver medals!
- PR3 Mix 4+ Final: Gold: Margaret Rajnic (Three Rivers/Capital/Athletes without Limits composite)
- 1x Womens Senior PR3/VI Final: Gold: Margaret Rajnic
- 1x Mens PR1 Final: Gold: Shannon Franks
- 2x Womens PR3/VI Junior A Final: Gold: Lauren Fisch
- 1x Mens PR2 Final: Gold: Ken Marrs
- 2x Womens PR3 Final: Gold: Lauren Fisch/Margaret Rajnic
- 2x Mens PR3/VI Inclusion F-H Final: Silver: Hal Quayle
- 2x Mens PR2 Inclusion Final: Silver: Sherman Anderson
The next tryouts for the Capital Juniors program are August 26, 27, 29, and 30, 2019, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. There will be no practice on Wednesday, August 28.
Tryout week is for any interested new rower (no experience necessary) in grades 8-12. The location is 1900 M Street, SE and upperclassmen and coaches will be at Potomac Ave Metro at 4:00 pm to walk students down to the boathouse on the first day.
Tryouts include 4 days of participation in the program after school from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Participation in all 4 days is highly encouraged. The week gives students the chance to learn the basics of rowing, some small relays, a friendly chat with a coach, and lots of fun team-building games!
Want to tryout? Find out more here and come visit us August 26, 27, 29, and 30th.
By Talia Linneman
What is an athlete? If you want to know, spend some time with CARP, the Capital Adaptive Rowers.
First, an athlete has an indomitable spirit. They eat obstacles for breakfast. Not only are CARP athletes physically tough, but they are mentally strong as creative problem solvers. Every rower has to deal with gear that doesn’t work auto-magically. CARP’s gear is still being invented, both as the industry develops adaptive products, and as coaches and athletes experiment with gear that was likely made for someone with a slightly different body or situation.
For example, CARP received a state-of-the-art fixed seat for a PR-2 rower (that is, someone who rows entirely with arms and body), from a generous donor. But it didn’t quite fit our boats. So, CARP athlete Shannon bravely modified it—with a hack saw, and no instructions. As a volunteer, I sometimes go sculling with an athlete who only rows the port side, so steering is a workout for my left arm and my brain! Almost every week, athletes and coaches are trying out different equipment and techniques to maximize everyone’s performance and to get the most out of the sport.
Second, we all have to define what victory means to us. Most of us aren’t going to the Olympics (although some CARP athletes are nationally competitive and could, in fact, be training for the Olympics). So, the meaning of “ultimate victory” isn’t obvious. It’s even less clear for adaptive rowers, because accessible competitions are still being developed. When CARP athlete Dammy wanted to race a single, CARP’s leadership had to research whether that was an option for someone who is completely blind. Fortunately, it was possible, and he partnered with a sighted athlete who gave him directions for navigation through a headset while rowing—really fast—in another single. (He won, BTW.)
Sometimes, victory means showing up to practice. Victory can also be having the courage to admit that, as an athlete, you need rest and recovery. The stakes tend to be higher, and the demands more frequent, for adaptive rowers, but all athletes take responsibility for their health, whether that means going hard or going home.
Finally, athletes are on a team. On the one hand, no one can take a stroke for another person, and no one can build muscle in another person’s body. So in that sense, the moment of victory is theirs alone. But all the moments leading up to that require cooperation. Even the coach, Jai, knows that he needs his rower’s perspective in order to strategize. I once tried sculling as a PR-1 rower, in a fixed seat with a back, using only arms and shoulders. It was an eye-opener. I didn’t know I’d need to do subtle things, like tapping down faster than I would with a layback. The coach knew that from watching and listening to his PR-1 rowers, and from doing the same himself. It’s a team sport, in many ways.
As a volunteer, I often carry boats, which many CARP rowers can’t do. That’s not fundamentally different from the way that I can’t carry the eight myself at sweep practice. The teamsmanship of CARP is my favorite part.
So, all the reasons that I personally want to be an athlete are in high relief at CARP:
- to make an effort that I can be proud of
- to have moments victory and flow, and
- to be part of a team.
If that sounds good to you, and if you can carry a boat—or even if you can’t—then you should volunteer with CARP!
By Michele Woolbert, CARP Volunteer Coordinator
Six years ago, I moved to the Washington, DC, area with no intention of joining a rowing team. But as most rowers can attest to, even after your worst practice, seeing water that looks like glass just calls you back to the sport. It was after months of day-dreaming about being back on the water that I started doing some research on what teams were around the area. I don’t quite remember how I landed on Capital’s website but something struck my eye: the adaptive rowing program. I had vaguely remembered seeing some adaptive events at races I had been to in the past but hadn’t paid them much attention and I really didn’t know much about the sport but I thought “why not?”
Six years later, it turns out that signing up to volunteer for the Capital Adaptive Rowing Program (CARP) was the best decision I’ve made since moving to the DC area. Not only have I been able to get back into a sport that I love, but I have learned a new side of it, a side that I’ve found so much more inspirational and educational.
While the coaching staff and athlete roster has changed many times, there has been one constant, the attitude of the team. Each athlete has their own story, their own motivation, and their own overwhelmingly strong determination to succeed. Working side-by-side with rowers and coaches to figure out how to get each athlete on the water and competing (if they wish) has challenged me to think about alternative solutions to the everyday issues all rowers face. I’ve been given the opportunity to learn how to think inclusively on a very practical level and see where I might be able to make improvements to benefit others. This thought process doesn’t only apply at the boathouse, either. It has made me more comfortable knowing when to jump in and offer assistance to others in my daily life, all while recognizing that “disabled” doesn’t necessarily mean unable. The day I started volunteering with the team, I remember being very unsure of what I was getting into, but feeling like I might be able to help some people. Little did I know that CARP would introduce me to some of my closest friends, allow me to meet actual heroes, and teach me some big life lessons on how I can make the world just a little better.
I’m honored to say that I was asked by the team three years ago if I’d be the Volunteer Coordinator. I gladly took on the challenge and appreciate every day that I am able to help out the team that has given me so much more than I could have imagined. It’s re-inspired my love of the sport and is a constant reminder of what can be accomplished if only you maintain the right mind-set. My sincerest thank you goes out to the CARP athletes and coaches for allowing me to be a part of this team. Congratulations and CARPe Diem!!