I began rowing in 1988 with Oxford City Rowing club and again in 1990 with U.C.D
I trained as a nurse in Oxford and I cycled and walked everywhere. I just loved the river walks and would look longingly at the crews on the river, the coaches cycling along the bank and the boathouses which seemed full of life and comraderie. I started rowing with Oxford City, in an effort to get out on the river and meet people. I worked shift work during my nursing training so it wasn’t really conducive to progressing too far. When I qualified I did an arts degree in UCD and spent a year rowing with them because I really wanted to. I was nursing at weekends and holidays so I could only allot a year to it. I really loved it. I thought that was the end of rowing but when my youngest was 6 I started rowing again with Grainne Mhaol masters and that was so I could feel free and have some time to myself!
3.Do you have a Favourite seat?
It depends on the boat. In an eight I’ve always been placed in the back, bough or 3 and I got used to hiding out there! In a single schull or double I’m awed by the clear view of the river.
4. What was your top challenge?
I think developing a confidence where I can relax and learn, has been my biggest challenge. I had a tendency to feel if the boat wasn’t sitting or anything went wrong that it was my fault and that worsened as I got older! I have struggled in group situations where individuals have been undermining. So learning to navigate that was my biggest challenge .
5.What is the one thing you would like to learn or improve?
I would like to learn to steer a quad like Emer Curtis or Jackie or Eithne!
Every spin is a favourite. I’m always grateful and feel blessed to be able to go on the river in any boat! However I can think of some momentous spins. In 2013 I went to Paris to take part in a long spin along the Seine. We started early in darkness and torchlight in one of the suburbs, heading under landmark bridges as the light came up, past the Eiffel Tower, right into Ile St. Louis and back again. It was followed by a sit down meal of paella, bread and wine. It was also my first trip away alone since I’d had my five children! Rowing in a schull for the first time in Seville, April 2018, was also memorable, great company, sun, food and patience.
7.What do you love most about Rowing?
I love the medititave aspect of rowing. When you’re on the river you really have to be present in the moment. Its simple and complex and I love the peace. You follow the person in front of you and concentrate on your stroke. There’s silence and really stunning nature and it’s restorative mentally. I also love how it strengthens me in every way. No matter how hard my week is or whatever challenges I have, I can park them while I’m on the river. I feel really privileged for the opportunity to be in a boat and very grateful for the nurturing, welcoming culture and kindness in Tribes.