A bronze, silver, and gold from Sunshine State Games 2012

“Marathon runners talk about hitting ‘the wall’ at the twenty-third mile of the race. What rowers confront isn’t a wall; it’s a hole – an abyss of pain, which opens up in the second minute of the race. Large needles are being driven into your thigh muscles, while your forearms seem to be splitting. Then the pain becomes confused and disorganized, not like the windedness of the runner or the leg burn of the biker but an all-over, savage unpleasantness. As you pass the five-hundred-meter mark, with three-quarters of the race still to row, you realize with dread that you are not going to make it to the finish, but at the same time the idea of letting your teammates down by not rowing your hardest is unthinkable…Therefore, you are going to die. Welcome to this life.” — Ashleigh Teitel

A long time ago, I used to be normal. Then I discovered rowing. A decade later, I haven’t looked back.

This blog records my personal journey training to compete as a Masters athlete. Originally, it started in 2013 when I first attempted to race in the “big leagues,” or Masters Nationals Championships. At the time, I had three years of experience and wanted to not make a fool of myself.

I am goal-driven. My current goal is to race at the Head of the Charles in 2019, and maybe earn some medals along the way.

In real life, most of my time is spent juggling a zoo: a two-year-old baby, a puppy, and working from home as a freelance copywriter. I rowed in college only one semester, my last.  Everything else I learned years later. I’m not the athlete in the family; every inch gained on the water is through hard work. Each year brings new lessons in balancing training with life, and my efforts to be the best rower I can.

Thank you for being part of my journey.


Head of the Hooch Gold

Gold at Head of the Hooch 2018

4 Responses to About

  1. Mindy Towns says:

    Hi Casey, I am a local photographer living in Lakewood Ranch. I have been trying to catch rowers on the lake for a long time to photograph. It’s always more fun to photograph people who I can give the photographs to if I get some good shots! I’d love to get a shot in the early morning when it’s a little foggy. If that’s a shot you can help me with I’d be happy to share the shots with you!

    • camckenna says:

      Hi Mindy,

      Because of the construction, my team does not practice at Benderson. Our home site is in Osprey and we compete at regattas hosted at the park. The next regatta we’ll be doing there is in November. If you don’t mind the drive, I can help you get pictures in Osprey. Timing the fog will be a little tricky, though. You’d have to wait for the temperatures to start dropping. Mostly happens on mornings right after a cold front when the water’s still warm. Or, you can wait for the regatta. Racing usually starts at 8 a.m. those days.

      Thank you for checking out my blog!

      • Mindy Towns says:

        Hi Casey,
        I’d love to know sometime when you and your team are practicing either early morning. Even without fog the lighting would probably be very nice. I wouldn’t mind the drive at all. And fingers crossed this hot weather will be ending soon! At least the rain has ended! This last week has been terrible. If you want to email me some particulars sometime that would be great. mindysp@hotmail.com
        Mindy Towns

  2. Doug Sanders says:

    Hi Casey, I came across this lovely site while doing a google search for ‘ritmotime’ – the iOS app I co created. I found here that it isn’t 100% reliable for you – apologies!. Please contact me at doug@ritmotime.com so that I can see if I can help sort out whatever is going wrong.

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