In the case of rowing, the early bird catches the brutal, strenuous daily workouts.
Members of Penn rowing show dedication through intense and continued passion for a sport where repetition and discipline are key. However, the true drive of the members of Penn’s three rowing teams is evident in their grueling daily workouts at 7 a.m or earlier.
While many college students can’t even fathom waking up to attend 10 a.m. classes, these athletes find a way to grind and thrive at sunrise.
One thing's for sure, the athletes are always trying to accumulate the necessary sleep.
“To combat the whole waking up early thing, I will take a nap during the day," senior lightweight rower James Konopka said. "Basically I try to get ‘x’ number of hours everyday.”
The irony of this entire story is that more than likely these athletes get more sleep than you. According to three different rowers, each of them is in bed by 10 p.m. every night. Each rower gets approximately eight or more hours of sleep a night — well within the recommended range of the seven to nine hours of sleep a night for individuals over eighteen, according to Mayo Clinic.
“It forces you to be pretty efficient with your day," lightweight senior rower Mark Roberts said. "We try to discuss that as a team a lot and [the coaches] try to like harp on staying organized and getting enough sleep."
The coaching staff definitely tries to keep a steady ship, and are a resource the players can confide in for time and sleep management.
When it comes to rowing, the athletes have one ultimate reason for constantly pushing to train and compete in the sport.
“It generally comes from the team and loving everybody on the team," junior women's rower Ellie Harned said.
Penn rowers will always face early practice times. However, it seems at least that they all have a pretty good idea of how to handle the strain.