A RSR Dev 2016 athlete, Channing is now a freshman rowing and studying at Stetson University in Florida.
Holly: Tell me what a day in the life at Stetson is like.
Channing: We practice 6am-8am M-F and 7am-10am on Saturdays. We also lift from 4-5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am taking 4 classes that are randomly sprinkled through my week and it's a lot of work but awesome. I get to see the sun rise every day.
Holly: Tell me what the team and culture is like at Stetson.
Channing: As a program we are definitely building. The Freshmen Class is large and really going after it. Since I come from a small sculling program that was not as competitive, the change is tremendous for me. But I love that everyone is on the same playing field - we are all learning, we all like working hard and we are having fun. We are all giving 100%. If we fail, we get back up and do it together. We have some walk-ons and we know that we are all in this together. We want to go faster and be better and build the program to see how far we can push ourselves. We are only a team of 35 or so. We have a new coach too so there is a lot of change but I am having a blast. Stetson is a really nice place and great fit for me.
Holly: How did you know that you wanted to go to Stetson?
Channing: I never thought I could do this.
Holly: Do what?
Channing: Row in college at all, let alone a DI program.
Holly: Was I one of the first people who told you "You can do this"?
Channing: Yes, absolutely. I went on a visit to Stetson and I really loved the campus and school. It's smaller which is a great fit for me.
Holly: Are you getting faster?
Channing: Yes! And seeing that increase in speed is very motivating.
Holly: And you ARE...What have you learned?
Channing: The mental aspect for sure. I used to see the meters or the splits on the erg and constantly be down on myself. I learned how to manage that and then keep going. I learned how to start to really physically push myself. I learned that I can do way more than I thought I could. No one had ever taken the time to explain to me the mental game and that I could change it- I could "build a new road" for my mind. I am a lot stronger and faster than I thought I could ever be and I am better at managing the load of a college rower than I thought. Rowing keeps me on schedule - I go to rowing study hall. The biggest challenge for me has been time management, but I have gotten into a rhythm. When homework is assigned I do it that day so that I don't get behind. I plan my naps if I need them and I get my work done on time.
Holly: That is awesome! Tell me what you are most excited about for the rest of the year?
Channing: I am so excited to be going faster. I have dropped 1-2 splits every 6K I have done. And I love racing.
Holly: If you could give current high school athletes any advice what would it be?
Channing: Don't cut yourself short. I didn't think I could handle the amount of work that is required in college rowing, but I can do it and I enjoy it a lot. But if you don't really like rowing then don't do it. It's a huge commitment. If you are on the fence just go for it- it's so much fun and a great experience. Also, don't limit your options of who you want to talk to. Do your research and start the conversations with coaches even if it doesn't work out. You create a relationship and just keep talking to people. You never know!
Holly: If you could go back and give yourself some advice in 2015 what would you tell yourself?
Channing: You can go harder than you think you can. But I wouldn't have believed myself and I wouldn't have believed that I could row in college. You were one of the first people to tell me that I could do it.