Racing Reflections: Together

What can I say the sensation of working together is a wonderful one. Last week during racing I had a great sense of timing and commitment to a purpose. Not everything was perfect though and the week started well and truly left of center when Josh and I came down in the pair just under 9min.
Pair Heat: This was not together…
Pair Rep: Slightly more together…
Pair Final: Together, but could be even better…
Four Final: Together and exciting…
Eight State Race: Somewhat together, but not together enough…
When I think back over the recent events togetherness comes back to me as a significant driver of performance. With out it, or with less than a great level of togetherness it all becomes hard, heavy and simply sluggish or slow.
Being together in something requires understanding of what you aiming for, willingness to commit to the action and the capacity to stay the course with your intentions.
Let me bring you into the boat recently with Josh in the pair. At times it has show signs of real potential, but also it showed less command of the movement and standard required to really fly. This all relates to the combination not the individuals. It took a number of sessions from Sydney the first time, to rowing on the Yarra together, then the week in Victoria which included some work against other pairs. We started racing in NSW, then VIC Champs before the week on the Gold Coast just prior to Nationals. Then even more happened as we went through the heat, rep and final races. We had gone ok before racing at Nationals, but the step up was significant in the final from what we had done together. Pleasantly so we found ourselves some 4-5sec in front of a highly competitive field after 1500m. How we did this was from 250 to 1000m I believe. It was dynamic, fluid and driven. This is the way I have enjoyed racing at certain times in the past and it was a great reminder about how to have that real focus and purpose of movement. A movement that had a lightness and snapping sensation during the recovery phase. The in water time was hooked and hung with a strong connected leg drive. The release was loose and a sense of skipping along from stroke to stroke was like a bounding kangaroo springing across a field. I am focusing on the sensations in the pair because I feel it is a turning point in my preparation. Until this row I was feeling like I had raced ok but not with the movement I know is needed to go super fast. It has taken many months of preparation to be able to confidently say that’s the way I want to row. Add this to the four race and finally I feel ready to start truly considering the long term possibilities.
For now I will settle back into training. One concern is my mid thoracic and I will have scans on this next Monday to rule out a stress fracture. I don’t feel this is a problem but a small hurdle along the way. I am certain I know about small and big obstacles now so will enjoy the time modifying my training until my thoracic is ready to go again.

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