What a wonderful world…

Well we have been pretty much on the limit for the last two weeks. Before that we had been building up since Luzern and today after breakfast I sat there feeling every bit of tiredness and fatigue. It’s all good though and we still have a good week left of being in the fog and mist of overload. I say fog and mist because it really does seem like we are in the think of it and we just have to trust the direction we set 4 weeks ago that it will bring us out at the right point where we are perfectly ready to race.

Personally I love this period, it is a bit of a slipper slope and requires a good sense of purpose to really get the most out of the final push towards maximum output. With the remainder of the team arriving yesterday it was great to see that everyone has come together and looking like they are all reading themselves for what lay ahead. We are in a great part f the World and with the bike riding we have been doing it has allowed us to appreciate it even more.

Our families enjoyed the time here and we are now looking forward to getting into racing. It’s interesting that over the weeks since Luzern I have not really commented too much on what we have been doing in training. So let me just say that the key elements have been intention, connection and measurement.

We have practiced being clear about our intent and have reflected on how our intent has been realised, but on occasion unrealised too. The connection we have worked on has included between each other and to our equipment, the water and to the direction and expectations we have set in motion. The measurement has been very important to us and we have used two forms of measurement. Objective and subjective though at times the line between the two has been blurred.

When we are at full capacity time no longer seems to matter. Yet we are intent on going as fast as we can imagine. It is an interesting dynamic we are aware of time, but get to a point where we don’t care about the outcome rather we care about holding true to our intent. Subjectivity and objectivity become confused. This may all seem a bit out there, but all I can say is over the last few weeks I have had a number of session both in the boat and on the bike where my desire to go faster has been eventually meet with a wonderful sense of expansion as an opening takes place. Almost as if an assumption or fear about a level intensity is passed. This has not always been the case with some occasion the resistance and fatigue taking hold and pulling me back down into a pre-existing zone. What I have noticed is that we have set objective standards and we made them quiet extreme. I then obsessed a little about the mark we defined to a point of frustration you could say. The object mattered too much and it caused a different kind of pain and discomfort. This has been a necessary part of the process though as when it came to a point of me thinking that we maybe couldn’t make it. I began to let go of the object and time melted. The limit came to greet me and with a more balanced perspective the targets became reality.

Operating purely by feel didn’t get us to the points I have alluded too. The feeling, the movement, the rhythm and timing where all critical elements in these moments and added to the stark reality of time, standards and measures we found that the finest of lines could be traversed from one limit to the next. At times it was a bit scary because we would reach out and have a crack at something significant and there would be a moments of fear, a moment of what if we can’t do it, or make it. That’s the reality check and as I said before we have taken and I personally know I have taken a few hits. It is what happens when you set the bar at a level that is a true challenge.

To explain further we have not just settle for testing our speed at various rates, but we have cross referenced all the we do against past results and against a list of standards the we have decided reflect what’s possible in our boat. Add to this video of almost every session and our regular discussion about how we are traveling and the reality of what we have set for ourselves and I believe we have create a comprehensive and full system for getting the best out of what we do and who we are.

I haven’t gone into specifics about numbers, times, scores etc and I think it may be obvious why. I am a student of the sport and love to get my mind around the possibilities of making a boat go faster. In principle our figures are irrelevant it is the process and principles that are key and we are very much looking forward to coming out of the hazy period and back into the light of competition to see how we have prepared.

Lastly I must mention it has not been all smooth sailing. A few things have that included, falling off my bike, backing the car into a car behind, breaking another car, bumping my head regularly at the apartment on the low timber in the ceiling and I have been stung by a bee while going down hill on my bike. I am pretty sure on that occasion the bee came off second best.

This trip has been amazing and it has certainly made me appreciate the opportunity that is to row and compete for my country. Being able to share it with my family has meant the world to me and I guess in a way being able to share it on this blog has been a great part of my own development. Journaling creates space to reflect and write about the many experiences on offer.

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