Today as part of our state selection we had to perform in a 2000m ergo competition (rowing machine). What can I say about having to push into the zone that involves capacity, effort, fatigue, lactic acid, competition and a sense of being under prepared. It’s tough, this rowing stuff, it does not matter which way you look at it; we can get away from the physical nature of the effort required. I was some 12sec out side of my best and while I can put it into perspective, it still is a shock to consider that only 7 weeks ago we were competing at the World Championships and enjoying success. Today made that seem so far away. I am motivated, but that part of me that wishes the start of the season and the build up to the next campaign was easier finds a way to enter my thoughts. I rowed light after the test and took the time to reflect not only on the performance, but also where to next. Almost like using the sting and burn of the activity to embed the thoughts and feelings of ‘Right that’s as tough as it gets, so I am back on the road to the peak’.
During the test I found that I was being a bit conservative, but also that the sensations particularly of tightness and restriction in the major muscles were very confronting. I kept a remind and repeated the thought in my mind to relax and keep moving. With about 700m to go I could feel the strange withdrawn, blood pulsing, mouth drying, almost dizzy presence coming over me like a slow moving storm cloud crossing the sky. Know the inevitable event that is about to take place was no comfort and as the score on the screen slipped out I found that the battle between pushing myself and the nagging question of do I really need to hurt myself today? Was being won by the latter. Obviously not ideal for producing your best, but that was the game going on in my mind and with each little determined thought of yes, the score improved, but it was not long before preservation stepped in to rectify and consolidate any youthful enthusiasm that I might have had. Being a father has taught me that some times as a parent you have to pick that battles and you can’t win all the time. The final thrust that I gave was with about 150m to the end and there was not much in the tank.
Actually today I had a very clear focus and in part I delivered a fair result for were I figured I was at I guess. Others went much better and being quiet competitive I do get that annoying urge to want to compare my results and well today I am down the list some what. Where to now? Is a great question and the simple answer is tomorrow is just another step. This is a tough sport and that is not going to change. Even as I sit here writing this I am feeling better about how I am going to approach next weeks training.