D3Week: Life of a Crewton: An Inside Look at the Daily Life of Hannah Arbach

 Courtesy of Ashley Avila '16, MHC Crew team

It’s no secret that being a varsity athlete as well as a student is difficult no matter which division you are in. Rowers, in particular, run on their own distinctive clocks different from anyone else’s. They often wake up when other students are just going to bed and dedicate their fall and spring seasons to racing as they are a split-season sport.

Varsity rower Hannah Arbach is a true testament to the dedication and focus that the MHC Crew team possesses as a whole. A rowers day is jam-packed with work outs, eating, school, and sleep and often lays on a delicate balance.

A day in the life of Hannah Arbach

i.e., Row, Eat, Science, Sleep

4:50AM The pre-alarm

I'm staring at the ceiling, it’s getting lighter every day. That’s a good sign spring is coming as well as my alarm.

4:55AM Wake up!

Time to layer. Trousers, tank top, thermal leggings … ahh the usual morning debate 1 thermal top or 2? OR should I wear my fleece! THE FLEECE YES!!!! Okay, too much time on clothes out the door!

5:15AM Fashion Regrets

Blanchard bus stop. Okay, it’s a little cooler this morning … maybe two shirts would have been a good idea. Can’t change that now.

5:30AM Practice

Time to practice. Row, row, row your boat, gently down the Connecticut. Merrily merrily, now it’s time for some breakfast!

 8:25AM Science on Science

Just enough time to get the proteins on ice for later! Need to run the gel for my Western blot.

8:35 AM Biochemistry!

This 75 minutes is not only my favorite, but it also tests my ability to write at lightening speeds!

 10AM HW

Okay, I have 90 minutes. To do list: Abstract for Thermo lab report, read the last article for medical Anthro, catch up on the latest pug posts on Buzzfeed. I CAN DO IT!!!!!!  Note to self: pugs are the best.

11:30AM Medical Anthropology

Wonder what debates we will get into today?

12:45PM Lunch

After class a furious texting frenzy ensues. Who is eating where and with whom do I wish to dine today?

1:30PM Sciencing

Time to start the Western. First, put on my music and get my hands dirty. Today: run the gel, transfer to nitrocellulose membrane, and incubate with primary antibody in the walk-in refrigerator.

4:00PM Gym.Tan.Laundry.

Interval cardio day with Claire, maybe Molly is coming! Can’t forget to pick-up my laundry loop!

5:30PM Feeding frenzy

Wilder for dinner, it’s mini appetizer night! Yummy, yummy in my tummy!!!!!

 7:00PM Done.

All the homework done? Yes. Good. Time for a shower….I smell bad.

8:30PM Lights out



 RACE DAY!!! (Because not every day is the same!)

6AM Wake up, it is race day.

Buzzer goes off, I’m up. There’s a distinct order of events. First, socks- mid-calves black or the neon ones. Uni-top down, t-shirt, windpants, sweatshirt, jacket. Last but not least sunglasses……

6:20AM Hamy Ham (also known as Ham-MacGregor Residence Hall)

Team breakfast.

6:40AM Getting in the zone

Record time for everyone to fall asleep…we aren’t even on the pike. Bus playlist is on and I’m getting pumped.

8:45AM Pre-race rituals

Boat is all rigged and ready to go. Time for my 2 pre-race juice boxes, I don’t know why or how this pre-race ritual started…

10:30AM Time to shove

Boat is in the water, tying in, making those final checks to the riggers. Jeanne makes her way bow to stern shaking everyone’s hand. I shake her hand and see her excitement, and I am ready.

The starter calls the name of each crew, We have alignment, I will not recognize hands, Attention……

I suddenly feel my stomach drop 6 inches and my chest tightens


We get off the water and gather as a boat with Jeanne. We talk about the race and then we de-rig. It’s time to go home.

Once we get back to the boathouse I am spent but we have one more race…..can we beat our previous best time for unloading and rigging the boats. We (the captains) call the start. The teamwork we see is incredible and we are all having fun.

Once we have beaten our previous time (there is no other option than to beat it!) we gather for a final cheer YEAH YEAH YEAH YOKE!!!!!

7PM Personal pizza and sports

Time to kick back grab a personal pizza from blanch and find a basketball, soccer, football, cricket, tennis…really any type of sports to watch with my friends and just relax!