Coxswain Abby Meyers helped guide the Notre Dame first varsity eight to a pair of victories last weekend

Off The Water With Abby Meyers

Sept. 20, 2011

The Off the Water series provides a “Getting To Know” piece on members of the University of Notre Dame rowing team in an effort to share with the fans details of what makes each of the athletes who they are outside of the realm of competition.

Abby Meyers is preparing to begin her third season with the University of Notre Dame women’s rowing team. The Dayton, Ohio, native and coxswain of the varsity eight boat in 2010-11 hopes to help guide the Irish to yet another BIG EAST title this season and a potential bid to the NCAA Championships. Here is a chance to get to know Abby Meyers:

What stood out to you about Notre Dame that helped you know this was the place you wanted to attend?

“Notre Dame has such strong tradition and is so full of spirit. You can feel it when you step onto campus. It’s also a university that is recognized worldwide. Not only does a Notre Dame degree mean you are smart and intelligent, but it also means you’re a well-rounded individual. Oh yeah, and the rowing team is awesome ☺”

When not rowing or taking care of schoolwork, what is the one thing you enjoy doing with your free time?

“It’s a toss up between reality television or reading a good book. Right now I’m reading The Hunger Games series and I can’t put it down! I also love listening to music.”

What is the most peaceful place to go to on campus?

“The Grotto is definitely the most peaceful place. Everyone knows to be quiet and reverent because it’s a place of prayer. But besides the grotto I’d have to say my room. There’s nothing better than coming back to my room after a long day of class and practice and just relaxing for a few minutes before starting homework.”

What is the best place to eat on campus?

“My favorites are South Dining Hall and Reckers. At Reckers I love getting a pizza and a chocolate milkshake. It’s the best combo ever.”

What is the greatest thrill about rowing for the Irish?

“I love racing. There’s always a second or two right before the race starts where everything is completely silent. It’s such an adrenaline rush. Even though I’m not actually rowing, my heart is racing until we get all the way past the finish line. There’s no other feeling like it.”

What is the most rewarding thing to you about rowing, in general?

“I think the most rewarding thing about rowing is the sense of accomplishment you feel at the end of the season. It’s a great feeling at the end of the year to look at where we started in August and see how far we’ve all progressed within each boat in particular and the team as a whole.”

What makes the group of girls on this team special?

“Our team is pretty big, so naturally you get all sorts of different personalities together, but we all mesh together really well. There’s hardly ever any drama. We’re so supportive of each other and genuinely want everyone to do well. We’ll always be teammates even 20 years after graduation. Spending four years with a group of women like this isn’t something you can easily forget.”

Was there any one person who was inspirational/motivational to you being where you are today and if so what was the best piece of advice they offered up to you?

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been really self-motivated. I’m naturally very competitive and my parents never really had to tell me to do my homework. If anyone, I’d either have to say my parents or my friend Lucas Pfander who passed away suddenly the summer before our senior year of high school. His passing showed me that nothing in life is guaranteed. Be thankful for every day and the people in your life.”

If you had to choose between watching your favorite movie or listening to your favorite CD which would you choose and why?

“Definitely watching my favorite movie. A lot of my favorite CD’s are soundtracks from my favorite movies anyway so I get to do both at the same time!”

Growing up, and maybe even still today, what was the one type of cereal that you had to have and why?

“Raisin Bran!!! I was never a fan of sugary cereal, but whenever I had raisin bran my mom would let me pour extra sugar on top. I still do it whenever I’m home.”

If you were trapped on an island, what are the three things that you would need to have with you and why?

“If I were trapped on an island, the three things I would want with me (besides food and all the essentials) would be a good book (preferably a long one), my iPod, and my guitar so I could finally teach myself how to play it.”

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

“If I could have dinner with any three people, I’d pick Mary Whipple, my grandpa, and Chris Martin from Coldplay. Mary Whipple because she’s the coxswain of the US National Team and it’d be priceless to sit down with her to get advice and find out her secret to success. My grandpa because his health has been going downhill recently. I know he’s not going to be around much longer, and it’d be great to learn more about parts of his early life that I’ve never been told about. And finally Chris Martin because I’m obsessed with Coldplay’s music. No matter how I’m feeling, there’s a Coldplay song to match it.”