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This Life Is Anything but Oar-dinary: Meet Norah Fennelly, Vice President of FSU’s Rowing Team

This Olympic sport takes guts and courage, but it also creates a family like no other. Florida State’s Rowing Team has been around since the 1970s and continues to carry on a “tradition of excellence.” This particular student-athlete has been involved with the club throughout her whole college experience and has dedicated her time to early 5:00 a.m. practices every weekday to do something she loves. She loves it so much that she decided to get involved as a Board Member and became Vice President at the beginning of her junior year. Read more to learn about her and how to get involved with the team!

Her Campus (HC): What’s your name, age and major?

Norah Fennelly (NF): My name is Norah Fennelly, I’m 20 years old and a junior studying Criminology with a Business minor.

HC: What year in college did you join FSU Rowing? And why did you decide to do so?

NF: To set the stage, I am the type of person who needs a competitive outlet in their life, so I knew deep down whatever I joined in college was going to be a sport of some sort. Naturally, when I was approached about FSU Rowing only a few weeks into being on campus my freshman year, I jumped at the chance. I was on an erg (rowing machine) at the Leach—rowing terribly, might I add—and a former rower on the team came up to me and asked if I’d ever rowed before. I said “no” and the next thing I know I’m waiting at the bookstore to be picked up at 5:00 a.m. the next morning to go to the first of many FSU Rowing practices I’d attend.

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HC: How did you make the adjustments in your schedule to adapt to the student-athlete life?

NF: The adjustment to a student-athlete life was pretty seamless for me. I genuinely believe if you are passionate about something it will subconsciously become a priority and you will manage other aspects of your life more productively as a result. People may see how often or early we practice and think they could never do that, but once you get used to it, the benefits of working out as the sun rises with all your favorite people become apparent. I feel accomplished by 8:00 a.m. and the pride in myself and endorphins carry into the rest of my day. Whether that be taking the time to make a healthy breakfast or watching my online lecture at normal speed.

HC: What advice would you give to any student-athlete?

NF: My advice to any student-athlete is to find the balance, manage your time accordingly and always honestly check-in with yourself. It sounds very mainstream but embracing these three things has been the most beneficial realization of college and ultimately been the catalyst for my success in school and sports.

HC: What’s your favorite thing about the club?

NF: It is hard to say one definitive answer to what my favorite thing about FSU Rowing is. Part of me wants to say the racing and competing, but I think everybody who has ever been a rower on our team would agree with me that the best part is the people. Rowing has introduced me to some of my best friends, friends that I ate in Suwannee dining hall with every day of freshman year, friends who always let the whole team know where they are sitting in Strozier, friends that I live with and friends that even though we may not keep in touch for life, will always have had an impact on my college experience. Rowing is truly a chaotic family and I can honestly say it’s been by far the best decision of my life to join.

HC: How could someone get involved in the club?

NF: To clarify for any potentially interested people… I had never rowed before college and I competed at Club Rowing Nationals my freshman year and am now the Vice President of the club! No experience is necessary to join!

If interested, you can go to Florida State Rowing to fill out the interest form or email either floridastaterowing@gmail.com or floridastaterowingheadcoach@gmail.com.

Follow FSU's Rowing Team Instagram as well @fsurowing.

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Claire is a sophomore studying Media/Communication Studies at Florida State University. When she isn't working for FSU Coaches Video, she's having movie marathons, baking until one a.m. and aggressively cheering for Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey.
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