Gillian’s journey, week one – getting back in the swing

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Following a very merry Christmas and New Year period, I was forced back into reality with university exams taking up much of January.

Exams complete, I resurfaced from beneath my Forensic and Analytical Science degree books and got to enjoy some time back home in Melrose.

My family and friends are extremely excited about the race taking place on March 1 and are already busy crafting banners and T-shirts of support.

I also squeezed in a trip to Belfast to visit a friend who is part of Queen’s University Belfast rowing team and got the chance to watch their team row.

Before I knew it, it was time to return to Aberdeen, where I knew testing times awaited.

Between festivities and exams, rowing unfortunately had to take a backseat.

However, starting back at university this week could only mean one thing – Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race preparation time.

With my crew drifting back towards the north-east from various destinations, exam-free, relaxed and suitably stuffed from overindulging during the festivities, we were buzzing with excitement to get back on the water and put our limits to the test.

At this stage, preparation for the boat race is just beginning, and much of the focus is on perfecting our technique.

With the competing crew finalised, it’s about introducing everyone and finding out what works best for us as a team. Some members of our crew are new to the race, while others are more experienced; having raced in previous years, so the focus is on bringing the novices up to speed without overwhelming them.

It’s also vital that the cox gets used to their role of leading the team, so we have been focusing on this. So far, we have been taking it at a relaxed pace, going out on the water two or three times a week to ease everyone back into the swing of things.

It’s still early days, but I’m very impressed with my team and the future looks bright!

Over and out,