Guts, Glory, and Gr-Outfits

We are thrilled, pumped and generally over-excited to bring you a new guest blogger and latest member of the Queen B family. Christa Dine is a former coxswain for the University of Notre Dame, and current coach. A gal after our own hearts Christa has also founded “Call the Coxie” working with rowers and coxswains. So, in honour of our new blogger we have thrown open the doors to Queen B HQ, rolled out the red carpet, put on the kettle and splashed out on some very fancy muffins – Christa, come on down!!

I’m from Buffalo, New York. That’s right – the city that had to shovel its way out of 10 feet of snow last year. I was also a coxswain in high school. Yep, you read that right again – I chose an outdoor water sport in a place where water was frozen for half the year.

In high school, we were all responsible for obtaining our own rowing gear for practice. My sisters and I – all coxswains – had a bin stuffed to the brim of old sweatshirts, fleeces, and wool socks. In the cold mornings before practice, we would dig through the pile groggily, trying to find pants that could be layered. Forget about matching socks – we just wanted to stay warm. Fitting in the bow-loaded shell? Three pairs of pants and two sweatshirts later, I had my doubts. But I always managed to squeeze, the cox-box resting comfortably on my pillow-like layers. (At least one of us was comfortable…)

In college, I couldn’t contain myself when rowing gear was distributed for practices. Finally! Proper practice-gear! This was going to be much different from my high-school days of wearing hand-me-down sweatshirts that had grown worn from grimy canal-water splashing onto them everyday. When the cold days came, I layered up, piling blue sweatshirts on top of blue shirts, and laced my blue waterproof sneakers below my blue water-proof pants. Whenever the forecast called for cold rain at practice, we would joke about our blueberry-like appearance. Layered in blue fleece and waterproof shells, we all commiserated about the weather – and the hard pieces on the schedule. You know what they say – the rowers who dress like blueberries together, win together. Or something like that.

The next year, we turned to gray. Ah, the “gr-outfit”. I still have fond memories of the “gr-outfit” of 2013. We would travel wearing gray, practice wearing gray – some mornings during the fall, it seemed like even the sky was always gray. On one bitterly windy day, my coach distributed face-masks to the coxswains. My teammates called me Ninja-Christa that day.

There’s something to be said about the team-bonding that comes from shared experiences. When someone gives you their extra pair of dry socks after a rainy day on the water, or lends you their visor on a sunny day, it’s hard not to think of them as a friend. Combine that kindness with the fierceness that erupts during a grueling race, and it’s basically over – this person is like family now.

Being a Queen B in athletics isn’t just about glory – it’s about guts. You want to win? You want to build a dynasty with your team? You have to earn your blisters first.
You have to become faster, stronger, better than you ever thought possible. And it doesn’t hurt to look good doing it…

Christa’s Website:

Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat  @CallTheCoxie.