I have no idea where all this is going to go, but I do know I have been keen to explore my options. Now though I have decisions to make. Not so much right now but at some time in the not to distant future.
Life used to be simple really. I mean back, way back when it was as simple as eat sleep and train. Sure I am talking about some 16 years ago. Actually it was probably up until 10 years ago that rowing was priority and everything almost revolved around how to prepare, train and compete. This changed and for the better, but with the change came complexity and yet there were still periods of focusing all attention on building up to a peak.
Currently I laugh at how much more is going in and in a great way I get loads of satisfaction out of being part of many exciting developments. Having a family is central to life and as much as I have motivation, ambition and a willingness, much of what I do is born out of a need to be the best father and husband I can.
Since Beijing I never intended on rowing again. Let me get that out of the way. For many reason I figured that was past and that simply I could not see how I could even consider getting back in a boat on a regular basis. Even up until three months ago I figured the reality of what I was experiencing with my back would not allow me to go any further that just being active. Sure I love doing my bike riding, but from the perspective of improving my back long term it was not really getting me stronger and more stable. On the side of developing aerobic capacity I think it has been amazing. Actually over the last 6-8 weeks I set about getting back into riding after 4months off while going back to doing things that would make a great difference to my back.
What things? Well let me explain…
Over the last 2 months I started moving forward with seeing Doctors, physio’s and various coaches to see what ideas and treatment might advance the situation with my back. While on the bike I felt like I got to about 85-90 full capacity with the training in terms of output. While this was cool to do in a short time I did notice the effects of the weight loss and the hours on the bike had had with my backs progress. Not a regression but the progression had slowed and flattened.
Out of all this has been the opportunity to work with a co-onditioning coach Harry Brennen. It started out as 1 session a week which then I was able to get to 2 and even over the last couple of weeks I have been in to the VIS with Harry 3 times in the week. It has reminded me of the days and session working with Mark McGrath. The hands on approach and one on one experience really takes it to a higher level. The similarities between these two guys is clear. The get in there with you and match up the focus required to create change. The session have been largely stretching, opening, lengthening and moving with real intent. The gains have been noticeable over the last few weeks. It has been 2 steps forward and 1 back. The key I feel has been having another person engaged with solving the problem of my back and all that is involved with this type of solutions based training. The answers aren’t obvious or easy, but through this partnership I am enjoying following the trail to see where it will lead.
So my options were open and probably still are, but I have chosen to go down a path now which will have rowing as an activity down the track. How far away is not clear yet and for how long it might last is even less so, but I am more sure now that if it is possible to make or even consider making something like London work then this is the way. I say work, but don’t get me wrong, I am not playing games. I will not be a passenger or spectator. If I find a way through working with some great people then I will be active, pushing, challenging and driving the performance I will be part of and with who that might be, well that’s another day.
For now my options are not about breadth but depth. The shift has been made and now is time to explore the depth of motivation and connection with people and things to enable the best steps are taken.