This is interesting in a recent news article from New Zealand the coach of the men's pair has given us a little side ways sledging. The thing is he is trying to deflect the criticism of others on to our pair. It is a silly thing to do and I was always taught that if you haven't got anything nice to say then keep your mouth shut. I was sent this article as a reminder and spur I guess. Not that we need any incentives, but I can recall a few years ago a crew saying that they had much more power than us and that they could beat us if they got in front early. It worked once but like any good little athlete you learn not to make the same mistake twice. And so the story goes that the crew who talked walk. We have a huge respect for our competitors and so this is disappointing that the Kiwi coach would make comments like this. It is his opinion and we all know opinions are like ass holes. We all have one and they usually involve crap. No touchiness here because I have a good memory and extra fuel is always welcome.

On a slightly different note, but still related. We have been motivated to not only practice going fast but we have been working a lot on harmony. Getting the mix right between power, speed and repeatability has been a great challenge. We have set some high standards that actually don't involve others. Pure challenges like sessions that we are intent on trying that test us in new ways. Creating a movement that we feel suits us and that maximises our effectiveness has been critical. This is occurring on and off the water and it comes from a deep source of motivation and drive to be better than we have ever been. We are creating an internal force that is expansive and energising. It is like a tensioning of sorts, it's an overriding surge of inner strength that does not rely on external motivators. We are aware of the outside but are practicing staying true to what we believe will take us beyond our best by a significant way.

Today I share these two types of fuel and one is certainly more important to us, but the other is there and if presented to us we will use it to benefit our progress. Being that I love my art also I feel confident that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not all people can paint and that is why some then go on to critique.


Unknown said…
What an absolutely terrific post. I am stunned at the foolishness of the NZ coach, and pleased you can both

a) use it as extra fuel


b) keep it in its proper perspective (i.e. it's an extra, not a core source of motivation).

Excellence for its own sake, rowing your best possible race regardless of outcome - those are the results that provide the most enduring reward.

Thanks again for an awesome post.
Anonymous said…
I've never liked oil paintings anyway. The article brings to mind a sculler called 'Rob' from NZ. In my estimation, he too was no oil painting. Nevertheless he went fast and I'm convinced a larger number of present scullers are thrilled that he took up sailing!!!


Anonymous said…
I've never seen an oil painting row - let alone row quickly.

Hope you and the family are making the most of summer in Europe - go see the Salt Mines in Salzburg and the water castle "Schloss Hellbrunn"


Anonymous said…
Nice response Spivs!
And remember Miss Piggy's/Muppet Show quote...."Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it maybe neccassary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a (all) black eye". Sorry about the pun! Touche Reggie
Anonymous said…
Good quote Reggie.. How about...."The kind of beauty we want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within-strength,courage,determination and above all..dignity"
Woof..Woof! "Jack & Sascha"

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