I started rowing my junior year of high school after one of my soccer teammate’s parents told me I had a good physique for rowing. I decided to give it a try and signed up for a learn-to-row camp. I did a few camps and at these camps I saw that I was beating people who had been rowing for a while. That is when I knew that I had some major potential for growth in the sport.
I would say that my greatest sporting achievement has been making the 2020 Olympic Team. It’s a dream that most athletes have for themselves early on in their careers and I was able to make my dream become a reality. Making the Olympic Team has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do, both physically and mentally, and I am so proud of my past self for sticking with it even when there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
I feel like I have a mixed bag of a bunch of different feelings and emotions. I am nervous, excited, anxious, relieved that I actually made it, and I am also sad that a bunch of my teammates who I have trained with the last 5 years don’t get to go. Besides feeling bitter sweet, I have a lot of hope for our boat. We showed a lot of speed during the selection process and I think that we can find even more speed over the next month as we prepare for the games.
I feel like I have two major motivators: my teammates and my future self. My teammates are the grittiest, most driven women I have ever seen, which pushes me every day to be my best self. It’s easy to go as hard as you can when you know that the girl sitting next to you on the erg, or behind/in front of you in the boat, is going as hard as she possibly can. Another big motivator for me is my future self. It may sound a bit strange, but whenever I am lacking motivation or feeling lazy I think to myself, “what would future Kendall want?” I don’t want to let my future self down because I should have done something differently or because I was being lazy.
When you’re training to make the Olympic team, especially in a sport that requires a lot of endurance training like rowing, you don’t really have a whole lot of energy to do “outside” things. It is nice to have some things that act as little distractions, even if it’s just going over to a friend’s house to eat dinner and watch Survivor or sit outside and draw. Most of the time we are all just vegetable zombies anyways so it’s nice to have friends who you can hang out with outside of the boathouse. I do think it’s important for any athlete to have little outlets so that they can mentally take a break from their sport.
You are going to have more failures than you will successes and that is ok. You cannot grow as an athlete if you do not have obstacles to overcome. Rowing is a very hard sport, but the great thing about it is that you get out of it what you put into it. If you put in the effort you will see results. These results do not happen overnight, but they do happen if you stick with it and are patient with yourself.
There are SO MANY sports out there that I would love to go pro in. I would probably have to say the US Women’s Soccer Team because they are a bunch of BAMFs and are incredible role models for females of all ages in any sport, not just soccer. I also just love kickin the ball around. If you ask any of my friends what happens when I see a ball in any setting they will say, ‘Kendall would go over to the ball and kick it in a random direction and then continue on her way.’ There is just something so satisfying when you make a solid connection with a ball and your foot.
My perfect weekend now and and my perfect weekend when I am not training are two very different weekends! Right now my perfect weekend looks like a solid couple Saturday morning practices followed by lots of time in my bed either sleeping or watching Survivor. My unrealistic perfect weekend would be to go layout on the beach and play in the ocean followed by some drinks with friends followed by a very lazy Sunday with brunch.
I took Beet It Sport’s beet shots all throughout Olympic selection and I truly believed it helped my performance. When you are doing multiple hard workouts a day, your muscle’s need all the blood flow and oxygen they can get and beets have the power to do just that. Beets are full of nitric oxide, which stimulates your blood vessels to dilate, increasing the blood flow to working muscles.
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