It is funny how at certain times in a preparation decisions need to be made and the result of those decision won’t be know for some time. Recently I came to a fork in the road. I have had to ensure that my family and business priorities are meet and exceeded. What does that mean for me as a rower? Well the short answer is things in the long term are not to different, but in the short term I have had to pull back from being engaged in team activities. Does this impact my chances in the future? Certainly it could effect various relationships with other athletes and coaches as the natural process of working together won’t be realised, but I know that I am at a stage in life where being involved in everything is not realistic. My family comes must come first and all though they support me in preparing for competition, I don’t wish to be absent from their lives. It gives me great joy and satisfaction to share life with them and I believe it adds to my motivation when competing. So initially I will pull back from some of the front line activities that we as elite athletes are expected to engage in, but I won’t shy away from challenging myself in training. This next phase will require much discipline to ensure I continue improving. Over the last few days I have formulated a personal performance plan that I am confident will be of great benefit. The tasks are quiet clear I need to develop and access some simple measurements that I can compare and contrast to use as a support structure and process of accountability. I have the activities that give me joy and a few that I dread some what. The steps I plan to make will be small shifts and steps forward in performance gains. Managing myself and being aware of how I am as a father and husband is really important to me so I have planned to build this into my monitoring process. This next phase of preparation will be potentially more lonely, but I will find ways to involve my self in activities with people who are around that will be stimulating and interesting. Now I have made a major decision to operate in parallel to the National team and I am clear and motivated about making it work. This obviously will not be the last tough decision along the journey, but may prove to be a significant one down the track for my family and I. Being an optimistic person in general means that I often focus on the up side and in this case will remain aware of the down side of the situation to ensure I don’t loss my way while taking this alternate route through selection.