Alyce Kanabrocki

Off The Water With Alyce Kanabrocki

Sept. 29, 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.

Alyce Kanabrocki is preparing to begin her third season with the University of Notre Dame women’s rowing team. The Chicago, Ill., native looks to build off a sophomore campaign that saw her competing with the third varsity eight boat and help return the Irish to the NCAA Championships in 2012. Here is a chance to get to know Alyce Kanabrocki:

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

“My dad went to Notre Dame, and though I wasn’t a typical legacy (the fight song wasn’t the first song I learned). He always talked about what a strong and tightly-knit community ND had, as well as the emphasis on service and giving back to society. When I visited I immediately could tell that those core characteristics of ND still held true, and because they match with some of my core values I knew coming here would be a great match.”

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

“I love just hanging out with friends, blasting music (whether it be Beyoncé’s Diva or Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody), and letting off some steam by dancing and singing like crazy. Otherwise, Pixar movies are always a go-to for a more chill night :)”

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

“I must have been a turtle or some other sea critter in a past life, so anywhere around the lakes is really peaceful.”

What is the best place to eat on campus?

“While I have to side with North Dining Hall on the North v. South debate, I love eating at Decio – they have a lot of delicious vegetarian options!”

What is the greatest thrill about rowing for the Irish?

“There is no greater thrill than getting to represent ND while we’re racing. We train year round for only a handful of races, each of which only lasts about 7 minutes. BIG EAST is probably my favorite. Since we’ve won the past 8 years, when we step off the bus at the race course wearing our ND gear, we know we’ve got a huge target on our backs. I feel like everyone soaks this up, walks a little straighter and with greater confidence, and uses this extra energy to work their butt off – no one wants to be the year to break the streak!”

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

“The most rewarding thing about rowing is truly being a part of something incredible. The team really becomes like a family, and I know that someone has always got my back, no matter what. We all pour our heart into this sport – which is much easier said than done – and seeing everyone grow athletically, academically and as a team as the year progresses is an amazing thing to be a part of.”

What makes the group of girls on this team special?

“To put it simply, we’re a group of between 40-50 girls that spend basically all of our time together, yet there is hardly ever drama. With the amount of girls we have comes a huge range of personalities, yet we all work together, support each other, and really care for each other. We challenge and push one other to be the best rowers we can be on the water, in the weight room, and on the erg; however, we all know that rowing is such a team sport, and only with a tightly-knit community based on trust will we be a strong and competitive team – no matter how physically strong we are individually.”

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?

“Besides my parents (who are completely awesome), I’d say that my Dziadzio (Polish for grandpa) was my biggest inspiration. He was an incredible scientist, while at the same time being extremely spiritual (as well as very athletic). He really showed to me from a young age how it’s possible to combine many different aspects of life and passion into one incredible and loving person.”

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

“Though I love watching movies on occasion, I’m pretty much constantly listening to music. One of my favorite quotes is `Music washes away from the soul the dust of every day of life,’ which I think sums up pretty well how I feel about music. The only problem would be choosing a favorite CD!”

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

“My favorite cereal of all time is Cruesli. I had it for the first time when I was visiting my family in The Netherlands, and fell in love with it! It’s kind of like a combination of muesli and granola – perfect with fresh fruit and yogurt. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it in the States.”

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

“My iPod – Music is an absolute essential for me. Sitting on a beach just chillin’ and listening to music with the waves crashing in the background would be incredible, and I doubt I could get bored of it!

Kindle – Though I don’t own one, I think it would be great to have one on my island. Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax, and though I definitely prefer reading an actual book there’s no way I could choose just one, so a Kindle allows me a bit of a loophole in this question. 🙂

Scuba gear – Scuba diving was one of the most incredible and spiritual experiences of my life, and being surrounded by an ocean would allow ample opportunities to go exploring!”

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

“John Lennon – Not only was he one the most incredible artists of all times, but he also was such an inspiring activist. As a child, I grew up singing his songs with my dad and brother in the car. Now as a young adult, I look to the dedication and love he had infused into his beliefs and goals as a model for how I want to live my life.

My grandpa – My grandpa was probably one of the biggest role models in my life. Though he only passed away a few years ago, my ideas, dreams and outlook on life have changed so much. I would love to get another chance to ask him questions about his life and ask his advice on things that I never thought to when I had the chance.

Stephen Colbert – The Colbert Report is the only news show that I can watch without becoming infuriated. Though I love watching the witty and funny Stephen on his show, I think it would be great to get a chance to just have a lunch with him and see how he is off the set.”