Everyone loves student rowers… except the people who live with them

In my experience, everyone loves a student rower.

Landlords seem to make an assumption that because we get up early to exercise we must be responsible and hard-working people. They like us because responsible and hard-working people are the complete opposite of the party-hosting, house-destroying bums who they don’t want to rent their property to. While this is mostly true, little do they know that rowing just makes us better at partying and then getting up early to exercise on three hours sleep.

“Oh! You’re on the rowing team? Well if you need any extra time for this piece of work then just let me know, I have a lot of respect for student athletes!”
“I really appreciate that but I’m only taking nine hours this semester, I really don’t need any extra time!”

My mum
My athletic ‘accomplishments’ are one of her favourite things to tell people about. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how many times she tells people I ran a marathon (the top I got when we worked a water stop at the Louisiana Marathon confused her somewhat) it doesn’t change the fact that I HAVE NOT RUN A MARATHON.

Anyone with a friend who does a water sport
“My friend does rowing!” *frantic arm action*
“I think your friend canoes…”

My new next door neighbour
“I can take the bins out for you if you want, I doubt you girls will be up in time for the rubbish pick up!”
“Trust me, we’ll be up!”

The rower who lives with another rower
There is nothing quite like going to bed at 9am without having to explain why you need to go to sleep so early.

Anyone who watched the Olympics (i.e. everyone)
“Oh, I love rowing!”


And the ones who don’t…

The people who live with them
Trying to go down the stairs quietly at 5.30am, getting dressed in the dark so you don’t wake up your roommate/other half and falling over, needing to pee just before you leave the house, failing to close the front door quietly, getting home from a regatta at an ungodly hour smelling like sweat and river water, going to bed without showering because it is 3am, second-by-second race recaps, dumping a pile of used workout clothes in the washing machine (x10 if this is what you raced in), tubs of protein everywhere, “Can you believe they wanted to put me at three?”, being unavailable during your multiple daytime naps, 2k strategy talk, complaints about blisters, complaints about aches and pains, complaints about being hungry, complaints about how they don’t understand your love for rowing despite the fact you complain so much about it, sharing crewcest stories, “Are you going to eat the rest of that?” and  borrowing clothes to go out in because all you own is lycra.

None of these things endear you to the non-rowers you live with. They don’t care about the Olympics, or how early you need to go to bed in order to function. All they care about is the fact that you do something that makes absolutely zero sense to them. In my second year of University I lived with six girls, none of whom were rowers. Out of these six, Jo in particular could not get her head around why I liked rowing. We would often have conversations that went a little like this:
Jo: Where are you going?
Jo: You’re disgusting and I don’t understand why you do this to yourself, go away.
And she would continue watching Buffy in bed.

Bonus hater! The all you can eat restaurant owner
Oh look, a lovely group of girls coming in to eat after working out! They won’t eat much…


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