How did you know when you were ready to go back to rowing? I am in a similar situation; I was burned out and took a few months off. During my time off I realized I wasn’t coxing for the right reasons and I think I’ve discovered what the right reasons are. Now I miss it like crazy but I’m worried about going back too soon.
After living in Boston for a year I was looking for jobs and decided to check row2k on a whim (for the first time in awhile). I saw that one of the local high schools was hiring and I figured why not try coaching. I don’t think I ever came to the conclusion that I was “ready” to get back into it (after a five year break), I just kind of … did.
I think the biggest thing that has helped me not get burned out on rowing again was that it wasn’t (and isn’t) my life 24/7. I go to practice and when I’m there, that’s what I’m focused on but when I’m not I try not to think about it (unless I’m doing blog stuff). That was part of the problem when I was at Syracuse – it consumed every aspect of my life and far too many hours in my day than it should have.
The other thing is that I’ve really liked nearly everyone I’ve worked with. I’ve learned something from all of them and in one way or another, they helped me figure out what I want and don’t want in a team/coaching environment. Both of those things are things you should consider when you decide you want to get back into coxing. One, how much time is it going to take up and is that too much and two, who are the people you’ll be working with, are they people you want to be working with, and are they going to help you get better. If you figure out your responses to those and end up settling for something less, you might end up feeling burned out again.
In addition to that, like you said, knowing the reasons you’re doing it are also a pretty big part of it all. Once you’ve figured out what the right reasons are and are actually honest with yourself about why they’re right and the previous ones were wrong, you’re setting yourself up for a solid, productive return to the sport. Looking back, I don’t actually know if I was coxing at Syracuse for the right reasons. I knew I wanted to do it and that I wanted to go far with coxing but I was also partially doing it because it was what was expected of me. I think pretty early on in high school, maybe around the start of sophomore year, it started being assumed by my friends, family, coaches, and teammates that I was going to cox in college. My junior year it was pretty much expected of me since I’d had a successful career up to that point . By the time spring season had rolled around my senior year I’d already been accepted to Syracuse, so that combined with the insanely successful season I ended up having meant there was no backing out of it even if I wanted to. Part of the reason quitting was so hard for me was because I felt like I was letting down all these people that expected me to go do great and wonderful things, but those expectations, while good most of the time, contributed to why I stuck with it longer than I should have and why I was so miserable. When I started coaching and coxing again, I didn’t have to worry about anyone else because I was doing all of it for me.