I interviewed Bates College Women’s rower, Martha Bishop ’21, from Hudson, New York. Her season has quickly approached and she is looking forward to the teams first race on March 31.
The Bates Student (BS): Tell me about how this year has been so far.
Martha Bishop (MB): We start our season in the fall and we go until early November. From November till our trip to Florida, we had captains’ practices that were “optional” but you were really encouraged to go. The captains would lead three erg workouts a week and then two quarter workouts, and then the rest of the time you are getting lifting and cardio in on your own.
BS: Tell the Bates community about your “February vacation” Florida trip.
MB: Over spring break, we were in Florida, right outside of the Orlando area, practicing before the start of the season. We had two practices a day but it was really fun. I got to know the upperclassmen better which was nice and on the last day we were able to do a “mock race” against Stetson University.
BS: Since you have been back, what has the team been doing?
MB: We have been erging 3-4 days a week, and running the other days.
BS: What has been the most rewarding aspect of being part of this team so far?
MB: I really love the community aspect. I have made so many friends on the team, and everyone is just awesome. I think this is great to have freshman year. There is a group of women out there on campus that I know I can talk to about anything. A lot of my best friends are on the team.
BS: What is one thing you’re most looking forward to now that your season has officially begun?
MB: I am probably most excited about getting on the water. I heard the first time we are on the water officially is when we get to our first race. But I can’t wait to be on the water for practices The erg room gets really stuffy really easily.
BS: What body of water do you practice on?
MB: We practice on the Androscoggin River. There is a really nice stretch, a dam at one end, 5k or 6k down fromthe boathouse, then there is a bridge. It’s a little rocky but you get a nice 12k stretch.
BS: Do you find that there is a lot of competition on the team?
MB: I feel like people on the team are constantly pushing themselves and pushing others to get into the boat they think they should be in or the one they want to be in. For example, in junior year of high school, it got really catty on my team. I feel lucky that it is not like that here at all. Another thing that was good when we were practicing in Florida was that Coach Steenstra would switch the lineups every single day. He gave a speech about changing up the lineups and having everyone row somewhere different every day. He said we are trying out to see what people can do best.
BS: Does your Coach deliver a lot of these “speeches”?
MB: Yes, but it’s more focused for what day it is and how he wants the program to go. Like today at the end of our workout, he spoke about why we are doing the workout we do. He says “knowing your tank” which relates to your energy, especially how much energy you have. If you are having a bad day, it’s knowing that you can do this, for this much time. It’s basically knowing how well you can do that day.
BS: How is the coaching staff on the team?
MB: I think the coaching staff is really good. We just got a new assistant coach in January. I work with her, Haley, more than Coach, but I can’t really say much because I don’t know her too well yet.
BS: Tell me something the Bates community doesn’t know about the Crew team.
MB: “Chicken Patty Satty” gets us through our Saturday practices. When we are on the water, Saturday practices start at 7:00 a.m. So when we get back we are always like “its Chicken Patty Satty.” On the guys team, they even had a competition of who can make the best chicken patty satty!”