This afternoon while spinning away on the stationary bike in the shed I thought about the concept of trust. Admittedly I would prefer to be out on the road but today it rained almost all day. I got to experience a lot in the shed today.
Better than the last few days of 30+ degrees where the shed becomes a very good test of mental toughness and probably stupidity to see how much can be sustained before needing to step back out into the breeze. On the hot days there still isn’t much relief out side but any slight drop in body temperature helps easy the pain. Not today though as the weather outside was bleak, wet and reasonable cool in contrast to the last two days.
Today’s ergo and bike session were solid but only because of the time and the lack of stimulus. I guess it is the reason why I become so aware of my minds activity. Trust kept coming up for me as I though why is it such a critical element of rowing performance in crews. The trust I have in my teammates is obviously high but it does at times get tested. The reason it is so important is that when the pressure is on we need to know how to get the most out of ourselves and any hesitation can be costly.
Rowing in a partnership is a very subtle experience or at least to get it to the stage of peak performance. The subtlety is such that any wastage can have a huge cost toward the end of a 2000m race. The great things for me over the years is I have rowed with many pair partners who I have had a deep belief that that can and will respond in the best and most appropriate way when the pressure is on ad the time is right. It is no surprise that most of my partners have had a wonderful ability to be extremely consistent and in my mind I have a huge sense of confidence in them. I have mentioned before about the quality of partners I have been fortunate to row with but what I have not mentioned is the underling principle that I feel has been the difference between our partnership and other we have competed against.
It is invisible, intangible and even elusive to describe. People mention trust all the time when referring to teams and teamwork, but I question if it is really well understood. The amazing things available in rowing is the awe-inspiring sensation when something happens or is called that lifts and surges the boat to a speed that for a period of time feels all together free. A field can be blown away in 250m and spectators can gasp to see how quickly a race can go from up for grabs to there being only one option as who will be first across the line.
The truly great crews have all had a turn of speed and it is only created by pure trust between a team. Even consider the individual athlete and you can say that when they trust them self and create an opportunity, or seize the day as they say it is clear to all that they have found that place within that enables them to produce something amazing on the outside.
Trust we need it in the boat we need out of the boat and if it is pure and true then great thing come to the surface of an experience. People find inspiration in themselves and in each other and this is one of the strongest reasons why I row. It gives purpose to the sessions in the shed on hot days or rainy ones. It draws and leads me to the river, to the boat, to the event and to the games. Trust is created, realised and understood through the action of being challenged and working together.
When I am in the middle of a moment, right smack bang at the centre, squarely confronting the experience in the fullest of ways, then being sure that I will be ok and that what ever I ask or am asked will produce the best of outcomes which by the way I trust will unfold naturally, then I know and that is all the ever really matters.
Trust within and trust in others can bare the most beautiful of fruit, full of lushness and flavour that is like a rare gift.
Let’s take a little ride…
It is like being out in the ocean and as a wave rises up you have a choice. If the call is made, you turn with excitement, with a smile on your face as your friend calls again. Go, and you paddle away from the building, surging and lifting water. You trust that you’re in the position to take off and you trust that with your friends cheer you just need to push forward and jump. The release is meet by a moment of uncertainty as the weightlessness shocks like a jolt to the heart. Zap, snap and bam your up on your feet and ride the most beautiful thing in the world. Your friend calls again with more excitement and the familiarity of riding takes your breath way. You relax and go with the flow. Your riding the wave with your friend and the wave is an experience, an experience that shouts, screams, embraces and realises a dream. It’s trust that it will be ok and that each wave of experience can be ridden with freedom. Let go and trust, go with it and wake up to the possibilities.