24hour Journal

Preparing for presentation: 6pm
This is the start of a 24hour journal that I will keep just to see what happens if I write regular entries and try to capture a period that is sure to full and interesting. I start with this first entry as I am preparing for tonight’s presentation in Sydney. I will be interested to look back and see some of the moment to moment thoughts and feels that would probably pass by with out creating or expressing my perspective on what will be a busy 24hours.

Tonight I gave a presentation to a group in Sydney. The client was a major bank and the particular group was a mix of management and an identified team of potential. This was my second presentation in a series and after the first event I made some adjustments based on the great feedback I received. The work I am engaged in is amazing; it’s a wonderful opportunity to work with so many different people and to be able to be involved in part of their development. This night was more of a dinner presentation that I quiet enjoy doing, but always work to find ways to challenge their thinking and to create some interaction. After I joined the group for a few drinks near by and well as a training athlete I don’t really have any problems with joining in I was aware of the fact that I would be leaving on a 6am flight out of Sydney. Get the chance to talk and interact after was great and I certainly learnt a great deal about those involved and the organization. Almost all ways the question I get asked the most is, ‘Can you tell us about that rower who stopped rowing in Athens?’ My response always starts with, ‘You mean Sally.’ And then I explain my point of view. It is another reminder that the sport I am involve doesn’t receive much publicity and so since the Sally incident that it is now the greatest thing rowing is remembered for in Australia. So there I am sharing the experiences that have shaped me as a person, and in particular my time with the Oarsome Foursome, and well the main lesson is what ever happens. Don’t stop…
Arrived back at the hotel about 1am and with about four hours sleep ahead of me I am out.

Taxi Ride
Well it is 5am and I am sitting in a taxi travelling to the airport to head back to Melbourne. The reason for writing this is that it dawned on me that to combine work and training is a true juggling act. Last night I arrived in Sydney checked in to the hotel and began to do the final preparations for a presentation with a group. This morning I will fly back into Melbourne at 7.20am and then arrive home to pack for Queensland. My family and I are flying out at 10.50am to stay and train for the next seven days there with Duncan and his family. So I am travelling along in this cab and I had a laugh to my self at elements that enable me to live a life that involves and includes family, work and elite sport. Some times I do think it is a bit crazy, but even on a morning like this when I have just woken from 3hrs sleep I still feel enthusiastic and motivated. They are a few of my indicators and ensuring I gauge, monitor and manage myself and the elements that will lead to realising my goals is essential.

Airport Lounge
This is something I have written about before and the difference today is that I will spend about 4hr travelling today and probably about 2hr in the airport lounges. I have decided to attempt at journaling through out the day. Watching as my fellow passengers cue to entry the aircraft is something that I always hold off doing, but today there is this TV right in front of me with some program selling clothes and accessories and it is annoying, so I think I will just get up and stand in line and get on this flight. Before I do my last thought is for how while travelling I need to keep mobile, and stretching so in particular my back and hips don’t tighten up. Before I board I will do a few forward folds and back arches to keep everything in order.

On the plane
Have had a quick read of the paper and well the two sections that take my interest are business and sport. Business came first and what caught my eye was an article on Bendigo gold. The stock has lost 60% after a two-day halt of trading. My interest here is that I have been watching both Bendigo and Ballarat gold mining companies. As an athlete working to support, family and a sport career it is important to find ways to fund, finance and maximise what I do. The stock market can be a great way to this. Most would know some of the obvious risks, but when your involved in a sport that really does have a huge amount of direct athlete financial support finding possible investment opportunities if beneficial is a big help. What is interesting is because in rowing we don’t and currently can’t earn loads of money, we have to be smarter about how we support families and ourselves. This lead me to the next story that I read with interest about Leyton Hewitt, and what other top players answered about questions around his preparation for the Australia open coming up. Now the top tennis players are in a completely different ball game with their financial situations and opportunities. When I consider Hewitt as a having recently been ranked number one in the world and now his value has drop significantly. He and Bendigo mining might be experiencing many of the same things that come with potential and expectations. I draw this comparison because I am sitting on this plane thinking how can I ensure I at worst maintain my value and performance and at best continue to improve and add value to who I am, what I do and those I am engaged with through work, sport and family. As an observer of and participant in the stock market I find myself motivated by a need to tap into ways and opportunities that enable me to row and support my family. To tie this back into my work needs only to be understood as, if I don’t provide value to the clients that engage me then it will all come to a halt, or at least slow to a trickle. My motivation to be the best at the career I am developing as a corporate coach, facilitator and presenter is strong and I love learning about how to improve and position my self better in the market to achieve success. This feeds and helps to sustain the opportunity to row and compete on the Australia team. The catch is the in the sporting market I must also ensure that I provide value and continue to improve, because there are always new athlete coming through and the potential/expectation type of athlete has a unique pull on the attention of coaches and selectors. In this area I need to make certain that I keep setting challenges for my self to show that I am still capable of producing results. The more success I have the greater the chances are of me combining and staying involved with rowing while developing a career. Bendigo is being abandoned and this might be justified due to adjusted expectation of outcomes from the mine. So to is Hewitt, even literally by his coach, which is another issue, but when I consider these two entities and compare my own situation to theirs I am struck by a positive sense of a challenge to deliver on what I have set out to achieve. That is to be a great father and husband, build a successful business, and continue to perform as an elite athlete on the Olympic stage. The exciting thing is that if out perform the perceived potential I have and expectations then the value I provide will be rewarded. You could almost say rewarded by the markets I am involved in. Family, business and sport are the obvious areas of my life that compliment each other and act as counter balances in a dynamic oscillation. My aim here is to in some way capture and share how this unfolds over a 24-48 hour period.

Family Transit

Ok now this is getting very interesting. I landed in Melbourne at 7.40am this morning and grabbed a taxi home to the beautiful smiling faces of our kids waving at me through our living room window. It always lifts my spirits and not even the thought of having to pack a bike, oars, bag and then the car to head back out to the airport could dampen my spirit. Having an hour to do all that and eat some much need breakfast was challenging, but I had it in my mind that once on the plane it would all be great. So after some sweet and grease on my hands from taking my bike apart I was almost ready when I looked at all the bags we had and had to say to my wife that we needed to trim our load some what. The last 10mins was spent pulling things out of bags to make our transit a little easier. The funniest thing is that once we did arrive at the airport the lady near the counter rolled her eyes at the sight of the family of four with seven items of baggage, including two kids seat, a bike, two 3.8m long rowing oars and our bags. We must have looked a bit overwhelmed because she took one look and ran to our assistance and then lead us to a counter. I almost took out an old married couple with the oars then crunched into a few of those polls with the straps for people to cue up with. By the time we checked everything in my wife and I both had a huge sigh of relief. We have been siting here now for 30min and the flight is delayed, it all ways seems to be the way with air travel. We get stress some time trying to make sure we get to the airport well before the 30min dead line before they would let you check in and well when they are late we just have to take it and enjoy another lounge. The best thing this time is my family is here and we can enjoy this time together.

Arriving on Gold Coast

This part has to be the thing that can get to me. With all our gear and the two kids it is challenging, but I find it strange how many people can become animal like when it comes to baggage claim. I mean it is a bit mindless and I find that the best thing particularly with the kids is to stand back and let it all happen. The interesting thing is that you get to observe some behaviour that verges on instinctual and animal like. It could be that we have all be crammed into a tin can for 2 hours like cattle on a truck and maybe this brings the type of actions that give you the feeling like it is everyone for them selves.

Travel to Murwillumbah
Duncan picked us up at the airport and it looked amazing with his ute, boat on top and trailer loaded up including 2 rowing machines. Once we got under way I took a wrong turn, no big deal, but I did think that it would not be such a great start to our camp if I knocked the end off the boat trying to do a u turn. We had Duncan and his family in one car and my family in another, plus everything we need for a rowing camp.

Tweed River
Last year for a couple of nights I came up here to train with Duncan and remember thinking it would be great to come back. Well now we have arrived and the house is great and we are going to be staying right on the river for the next 6 nights. The weather is hot and muggy and so training times will be limited to the cooler times of the day. The kids have settled in and are running are full of energy and loving the opportunity to explore together. One small danger is that Kyra stepped in some dog poo and made the funniest sound.

Quick Rig & Row
Duncan and I rigged the boat for our seven-day camp and as we did we discussion the options about how we would train and what each day might look like. The oars I brought from Melbourne had to be check as we had experienced a few problems with them previously. It had felt like each oar had a slightly different pitch on the blade. The result being the it felt like Duncan’s blade was going deep during the drive phase and the my blade was washing out. This had been quiet uncomfortable previously and we had thought that maybe the oar were the problem. Nothing like blaming your equipment, well I learned much of my craft from the guys in the Oarsome Foursome, and Nick Green was amazing at being able to pick an error in the pitch of the blades. So much so that our coach Noel Donaldson would shake his head and remark that some times Nick was feeling as little as a degree of difference. I guess he was subtly aware of very fine differences and much of his success could be attributed to his touch and efficiency. Well after check the blades I decided that Duncan and I may not be in Nicks league when it comes to feel, as the blades pitch were the same. Must have been some thing else in the equipment then… As for our first row well we jumped on the water which was no more than and 40m walk for the back of the house and we were away. What a great sensation to be back in the boat after a number of weeks. We only did a short row to check the rig and to wake or bodies up for what will surely be an intense camp.


The 24hours is up and it certainly was a full on period of time. It has been a great experience to keep a journal like this and even just reading back over it now I find myself wondering what is it about have this type of experience that I enjoy, because I have in the main enjoyed most of the last 24Hours and even with limited sleep and all the travel I found that the simple challenge of making it happen is something that has struck a cord within.

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