The time has come when the Australian Team has left for New Zealand for the World Championships. I have been asked by many if I am going over to watch.
Am I? NO.
Can’t imagine my self sitting watching racing at this stage. Not completely sure why, but I have never been a great spectator. If I have a focus or there is meaning then I enjoy observing races live. At this stage I love the idea of training and seeing if it is possible to make it back to high level competition. Now though it is more important I don’t get distracted about where I am at and I don’t need to start getting to far ahead of things. I figure being over there would give me a taste of it again and unfortunately that I sense would be worse for the build up process I am working on. Frankly I would go over watch and want to jump straight to that level and it would create more problems in relation to the steps needed. This is not to say I won’t check out some results but keeping it in perspective will be key.
To explain this further what I have noticed is over the last few months is that much of my time is a battle to let go of the idea of the level where I have been at before. It is a mini identity crisis. Specifically being on the rowing machine even yesterday I found my self constantly referring back to the past as I was ticking through each minute. It was a 20min at rate 20 and I had my heart rate monitor on and obviously the splits are visible. So from a numbers perspective it is hard not to keep flashing back to what I know the level to be. Add to this the sense of ease in the movement. The feeling of flow and sequence. The various positional references and the feelings I have come to associate with them when I peak form. This is so dame hard to let go and I am actually undecided if I even should be letting it go. The reality is that things won’t probably feel the same ever again. But and I say but, if those feelings with the movement, effort and ease are or have been key elements to being able to go to those peaks. In fact I feel that it has been the ability to find, enable and access these feelings associated with boat speed, power output and harmony with others as keys when refining performance. I do recall after 2000’s surgery how long it took to get back to those feelings. This time it has been a greater battle.
When I have watched some rowing races on the computer while sitting on the rowing machine it has seemed so far away. So for now I have dropped that from the process. I suspect this is similar to the idea of going over to the Worlds.
What I am keen to see is how the Australian & New Zealand crews perform. It’s an event in our back yards as they say. The advantage is with our teams. The pressure I suspect sit with the NZ athletes though. This is cool because I like how the higher expectation can have both great impact on performance. Some staler results will come from this and I assume some will struggle with the magnified situation of a home event.
My interests sit with the men’s pair and four obviously. I am keen to see the Aussie crews in the Women’s light weight double and the Women’s double/quad. The men’s quad I feel should be much better than they showed in Europe at the World Cup. Also with Duncan being in the single and us talking a couple of times a week I am very interested in how he can perform and how this set’s him up for the next couple of years.
The challenge will be for many of the long distance traveling crews. This will be most of the international teams. The UK team will have some outstanding results and with London fast approaching the intensity to performance and show they are on track will be key. The issue with this is how long they can keep up the standards. If athletes are being pushed/pulled to over-reach then cracks might start to appear. A longer trip to New Zealand could be a trigger for future challenges.
In New Zealand I anticipate the water won’t be warm so for those coming out of summer conditions the heavy feeling on the water could play mind games with many. The Kiwi’s and Aussies have the advantage here also because most would have been on similar water temps up until now. If it’s anything like Melb right now we have a few warmer days like 20+ then a couple of rainy cold days of 14 degrees. So depending on what your used to recent thing can challenge the mind set’s even when you’re a professional athlete.
My final remind about this is that most crews will have considered the long season that has occurred due to a late Worlds. If London is the true focus then for some this will be a trip of performing as best as possible with out buying into some of the results which might seem to stand out. It’s two years to go effectively and this needs to be a step. A step that is kept in perspective.
I will watch from a distance and take away the learning’s which relate to my future and the future of those I might possible be rowing with.