CHRIS Ross made her way to from the USA to Australia in 2003 to play rugby.
She had an successful rugby career, representing Australia at the 2006 and 2010 Women's World Cups.
But that wasn't enough to quench Chris' sporting thirst. A handful of her team-mates rowed surf boats in the off-season enticing her to join as a great way to spend her first summer in Sydney.
After trying out surf boat rowing, Chris fell in love with the sport. With time, Chris' involvement in surf boating had proved purposeful as after a few years away starting a family, she decided to transition to still water rowing.
"It's taken a while to stop tackling the trestles and chasing the tinny runners but I'm thoroughly enjoying the transitioning process," Chris explained.
Chris began competitively rowing in 2016 with Mosman Rowing Club and has since made some very impressive feats in masters rowing. Chris will be racing on the Manning River this weekend in an array of events including a quad scull, an eight, a coxless four and a pair.
Selected to the 2021 Rowing NSW Masters State team in the women's interstate eight, Chris and her crew mates put forward an impressive row securing silver behind Queensland's gold with a +1.16 margin at the 2021 Australian Masters Championships.
Throughout Chris' time as a rower, her skillset has changed considerably after her time as a union player. On how rowing compares to rugby, Chris mentioned that rowing requires intense focus, "especially for someone with a vivid stream of consciousness."
"In rugby I had 80 minutes, plenty of time to atone for any mistakes,'' Chris said.
"In rowing I have around 4 minutes to have my pre-game jitters, halftime pump-up speech and second half comeback! No time for mistakes! No time for halftime oranges!"
"Rowing is a microcosm in my sporting life," Chris added.
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She is constantly inspired by the women around her, surrounded by team-mates willing to sacrifice so much and work so hard for shared goals and experiences.
With Chris rowing only crew boats, she mentioned it is the ultimate motivation to have others willing to bust themselves for you and it inspires her to do the same to get to the finish line.
Most importantly, Chris' top tip for race preparation is Mr Wong's Sweet'n'Sour Pork.
On that note, her progression into her Masters sporting era has fared well with a newfound appreciation for recovery making sure she gets plenty of nutrition and "to rest as much as possible before and dance as much as possible after."
Rowing this weekend will start on Saturday from 9am. This is the first time the State Masters has been held on the Manning since 2007.
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