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08/4 2010

Training, training, training.

I will never forget the first time I raced in Lucerne.  It was in 1997 and we won a silver medal in the eight.  Terry Paul was our coach, Adam Parfitt was our stroke and Morgan Crooks and I finally raced in the same boat again for the first time since 1994.  It was so fun.  I think we flew over to Europe a few days ahead of the regatta, and we raced our guts out.  I don’t remember much about that race, but I think that we may have been in 5th place with 500 metres to go.

That year I learnt one of the greatest lessons of international racing – don’t take the foot off the gas pedal after Lucerne.  If you can, picture Lucerne as the gut-check, the temperature gauge, the reality check.  It’s not how you do in Lucerne that matters, it’s what you do about it in the weeks and months to follow. 

This year I finished 11th in Lucerne.  When I got home Rachel told me that she had never known me to finish that low, ever.  It’s true, that was my worst international result, ever.  Well, there are two ways to look at that:

  1. The sky is falling, run and hide; or
  2. The sky is falling, stand and fight.

Anyone who knows me knows how I have responded.  Since coming back from Europe I have pushed harder than I have pushed in training for a very long time.  Will Crothers, the man who stroked the four (4-) we raced over seas, and I have been training in the pair together.  He brings so much passion, drive and strength to the boat.  Rowing with him is a lot like rowing with Scott Frandsen, it becomes easy to work harder than you thought you could. 

This year is a funny year, there are still 10 weeks before we leave for the worlds in New Zealand.  In a regular year we would be packing up and heading off to Europe this week or next.  These 10 weeks were critical in my planning when I staged my comeback.  Over the weeks to come we will continue to squeeze everything we can from our training and then when we get to New Zealand, we will see who else put their pedal to the medal after Lucerne, and we will see who didn’t.


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