Every year is the same, but also slightly different. We go through rigorous trialling and testing, we race the same events at the same time of year every year. My day-to-day routine has been the same now for 10 years and we visit the same places for training camps again and again. But each year is different. There are different motivations, fitness levels, strength and mindset. Results at our trials and in testing always varies which alters rankings within the team. With intense competition and rivalry between each other, everything is constantly changing.
Over the years I’ve been right through the team. From the very bottom, to breaking in for the first time, spare man numerous times, over performing and under performing. It’s been a rocky road. Writing this takes me back to times in the past when I was so unsure about what I was doing that no one, not even me, could predict how I was going to perform. I had a frustrating habit of doing well in training but when it came to racing I would more often than not really let myself down. Putting it bluntly this made me hate racing. I was scared of it because I thought I didn’t know how to do it. As I worried about it more, I hated it more and my performances became even less consistent. They were difficult years.
Somehow I found a way out of the vicious cycle and things started to go right. I found a way to perform well in any circumstances which built my confidence. This led to more frequent and better performances and so I found myself in another cycle, this time a positive one.
Right now we are going into potentially one of the most stressful times of the year for us. The next month we spend preparing for our final selection trials which is an intense weekend of racing against each other in pairs and singles. I’m in a good position right now, I’m at the top end of the team, rowing with a partner who is physically in great shape. At the moment the boat is feeling good and moving well, there’s not too much more we can be doing. I’m relaxed about it all and looking forward to racing. But I’m fully aware things change. Tomorrow, next week or next year, nothing lasts forever. My motivation is to be as consistent as I can with everything I do to give myself the best opportunity to perform well in April. From then we move into the racing season where the focus changes and the fun really begins!