I have just come in from doing an ergo (Rowing machine) in the shed, and I am boiling. Even after a shower my body temperature is sky high and perspiration is still coming out of me. I just want to capture a quick realisation and although simple, I found that right as I was completing a solid 10min piece of work at the end of my session, it hit me. During the ergo my wife had come in and taken some photo's some of which I have included.

If internal force does not at least match or exceed the perceived outside forces I feel almost helpless. When I think that the forces outside of me are to great I begin to suffer. The score on the screen is a perceived outside force, and every now and then during the work load I found it seemed impossible to either improve, overcome or even just deal with. This sense of becoming overwhelmed was intense and I found the only thing that real seemed to work was when I went deeper within and found a more powerful force and instantly the outside began to diminish and the result right before my eyes was the ergo score dropping slowly every stroke.

It amazed me so much I went with it and with some 700m to go I was already on 1min 32sec per 500m at a stroke rate of 25. This had been an improvement from 1min 38sec at 24 around 1500m to go. The score even fell lower with the odd 1min 29sec showing before the outside came rolling in to surround me. It was like a temporary cocoon, where I started to feel like I was up against the odds. The process that got me from high 1min 30’s to the high 20’s was a great sense of internal drive and energy. The obvious thing here is that while the improvements are great and it would be easy to think that if it worked then why not at the higher capacity? I understand that once the required load and speed of movement that is needed to produce a score in the 1min 20’s is a challenge. Then this requires a further increase of internal force. It became clear to me that the few surges that lead to lower scores was achieved with greater internal force.

The physical, mental and emotional surges inside were vivid on the screen. But as I let go of the score I found a freedom and clarity of presence that enabled my performance go further with little perceivable effort. The scores I have mentioned above are not significant when compared to many others, I am sure many can produce better, but they from my history quiet good. What I am compelled to reflect on is the realisation of less suffering when I accessed a great source of energy and force.

To take this further into other areas of development I find myself considering how this can apply to my training, work and family. A few words that come to mind are, belief, hope, love and gratitude. I write these here because they are significant and we all have our on differences of how we relate and engage with these inner forces and harness their possibilities. The essence of these words and the energetic force that flows like a current within them will be something that I write about in the near future.

For now they are forces and during my ergo today I had moments of equality with the task and moments of being on top of the outside forces, plus at times I suffered and this is important to understand as in principle I find that the full range of an experience is always available and the difference appears to be how I judge what I am, and what I experience. The view I take during activity can shift and change the way I engage with all that is involved. Rowing on an ergo at high intensity is a fair challenge and one that certainly can benefit from great internal force.


Alan Thomas said…

I have just discovered your blog for the first time as someone came to mine from a link on RowingInsiders...has that project been dropped? At any rate, thanks for posting about your experiences and best of luck on the way to Bejing.

Alan Thomas
Rowing Science Blog
Drew Ginn said…
Hi Alan,
Thanks for the comment and question about rowing insiders. That project has not been drop and we are aware off putting some time into develop the blog. I made a posting last night on that blog to explain why it has taken a back seat recently. If you have any great suggestion about any stories you would like us to cover we will do our best to do so. As for this blog and other feedback is apprecaited also. Thanks for your interest.
All the best
philips said…
All the best for Beijing.

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