This is a quick entry only due to the fact that I have had a full day and need to spend some time unwinding. Today we had an ergo test in the laboratory and well it was not my best performance. In fact it was right down there with some of my very early effort when I had just left school. The reason why I mention this is because I don’t want this journal to be about all the great stuff, but rather I want it to capture a picture of the true nature of being an elite athlete.

The testing went some what like a lead balloon. I fell flat on the floor, not some much literally, but more like my pride and vision of me as an athlete. It hit the deck and didn’t even look like getting up. There was not really one ounce of fight that suggested to me that I am a worthy contender for any title. This being said I also didn’t feel like I had hit the bottom yet. This is interesting because in each and every season in my rowing career to date I have always hit a point where I have bottomed out. Over the recent weeks since return from the World Championships I have felt an amazing sense of motivation and drive. During the last two weeks this has slipped, and I have been aware of the thrusting drive of discipline swaying from side to side, but still standing. During the test today I lived two life times in a moment and the oscillating fight between the composed, athletic and purposeful me stood against the fearful, overwhelmed and uncertain me. The two lives that are in some way inside me came crashing in.

The test is 7 stages of 4 minutes effort with 1 minute rest, and the final stage or step at is a maximal one. What was most noticeable was that my mind was off in one direction attached to one side and then I would become aware of the opposite side popping up. Now this is not unusual, but today, well today I didn’t have the effort, energy or focus to stay in the middle and hold or balance between the two. My mind ran around and with each circuit I found I had less interest in being involved. This meant that instead of elevating, witnessing and tuning the battling forces that would normally create a dynamic exchange I just sat out all together.

So it is a fine line between harnessing the battle and just giving in and letting it run ramped. Now I am almost back to the beginning and as I said before this is what happens every season. It is cyclic and an essential element in the journey toward reaching and accessing fuller capacities.

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