Sept. 13, 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.

Rose Doerfler is preparing to begin her inaugural season with the University of Notre Dame women’s rowing team. Though not having competed with the squad to this point, the Pittsburgh, Pa., native enjoys the great camaraderie of the team and is ready to get on the water and show her skill of distance racing. Here is a chance to get to know Rose Doerfler:

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

“Friends have joked that I came to Notre Dame because it’s a family tradition, but the real reason why I came here was because when I visited, I was amazed by how nice the people were. At first I thought that maybe they were just trying to make a good impression on the recruits, but they told me that people were actually that nice all the time. Everyone says that ND is a family, but I didn’t know what that meant until I visited and saw that everyone was incredibly supportive of each other, even when it wasn’t required of them.”

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

“My favorite way to relax at the end of a long week is by having movie night and eating ice cream! I’m a Jane Austen fan, and I love Pride and Prejudice. I also like to play word games, like Scattergories or Catch Phrase, although I never keep score.”

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

“I really like Sunday night dorm Mass. It’s very relaxed and there’s a good sense of dorm community.”

What is the best place to eat on campus?

“I like both dining halls, but I have to say that I’m a fan of the pasta stir fry at North. What can I say? I live on North Quad, and I’m developing a sense of loyalty to my dining hall.”

What is the greatest thrill about rowing for the Irish?

“Rowing for the Irish has been great so far! It’s very different from high school, but I’m really excited about being a part of this community, and I’m learning a lot. I find myself working with a group of people who are very strong and motivated, and who will help me improve as an athlete. I can’t wait to see how this season goes.”

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

“There’s nothing I love more about rowing than distance racing. Sprints are fun and exciting, but I love long distances because I can focus on my race and pace myself.”

What makes the group of girls on this team special?

“The team is truly an amazing group of girls. Coming in as a freshman, the older girls were very helpful and supportive, which has made the transition to college a lot easier. I know that’s not the case everywhere, so I feel very lucky to be part of such a wonderful team. The other thing that is special about the team is that even though we are all athletes, everyone is very academically strong as well. There are a lot of days when we practice together and study together.”

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?

“My dad has really helped me a lot, but it’s not so much about concrete advice as it is about learning to have a good lifestyle – eating well, getting a good workout in, trying to avoid injury, and remembering that even if you have a bad day, you can put it in perspective and see that you’re doing fine.”

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

“It’s a tough call, but I’d say that I’d rather watch my favorite movie. It’s easier to watch a movie as a way to hang out than to listen to a CD with other people. When I listen to music, it’s generally by myself.”

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

“I loved Honey Nut Cheerios when I was a kid (and I still love them). There’s no reason, it was just something I ate every day, and I never really broke the habit.”

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

“When I read these types of questions, I always wonder, `What kind of island are we talking about? Is there food on the island? If I bring a toothbrush, does that count as one of the three things?’ In the spirit of the question, however, I’d have to bring some reading material – maybe Harry Potter – a couch, and my watch because I never go anywhere without my watch.”

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

“This is another tough question, and one that I would probably answer differently every day. Some days I would say that I would eat dinner with my three little sisters, and other days I would say that I would eat dinner with three famous people. It really just depends on what I’m doing that day and what kind of mood I’m in.”