Ah the joy of cracking a personal best. Late this afternoon I went into the Victorian Institute of Sport to do the National 6km ergo (Rowing machine) test. What I was most happy with was the way that the strategy that I planned worked. My previous best for the 6km was 19min 9sec and today I completed the test in 18min 58.4sec. Setting a clear goal made a huge difference and it gave me focus over the holiday period and motivated me to explore ways to make the improvements. I must admit the last 2km was fairly tough with a number of thoughts running through my mind about being happy to maybe not go under 19min. It was a see saw experience with the competing thoughts of it would be ok to let the 19min slip away and don’t give up on the goal of going under 19min. Setting up the score early with a time through the first 2km that gave me a little buffer. When the big gorilla jumped on my back I kept telling myself don’t let the big heavy sensation slow or pull me down. The momentum is always challenging on the ergo and today it was no different really, only that the rhythm and acceleration that I set up early held me in good stead and enabled me to stay on top of the movement and drive. The heart rate watch indicated an average of 170bpm with a max of 190bpm. To finish in that zone after nearly 19min was surprising and the sensation of exhaustion flooded in as soon as the final meters ticked by. Having the clear goal and setting the challenge was perfect and to consider that since 2004 I have shaved some 20sec off my best is something that tells me that I can continue to make improvements gains. The last thing I would like to add is that in the recent years the athletes coming through in the Australia team and in particular the guys in Victoria have inspired me to find ways to improve. It is humbling to consider that there are always people you can learn from and I am fortunate to have been involved with some of the best and this is as clear now as in the days of the Oarsome Foursome. I feel that my eyes are continuing to widen and appreciate human capacity. Today I cross a new threshold and like on the bike ride recently I have reinforced the learning and discoveries that I have made about others and myself. Exposure to great people and influences is a driving force that is merging with my inner belief and understanding.