Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's in a word, or a sentence or two?

When we consider text, type, letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, statements, stories, essays, journals, documents and books. What is it for? Why do we collate, collect, transcribe and interpret? What's it all for really? Is it for me? Is it for you? Is it for us? Or is it for them? Who's it for?

Over the last few days as I have started back into training I have questioned myself about why I keep this journal. Why I would share these things? Basically why I do this and what is it that this is? Yep somewhat cryptic and potentially it has been just a looping experience that while I write plays out in the back ground.

Yesterday I sat on the rowing machine and I thought how can I explain what I am going through better. It is so much more that rowing. How can words possibly convey what is taking place for me or any other person actively participating in training.

Time slows, time speeds up. Or at least that how it seems. So what is occurring? How do I translate the felt sense into expression that can be sent out via this medium. By the way I really think the web is very cool. Must days I enjoy just moving around from site to site checking out where my curiosity takes me. Anyway to go back to the ergo I realised that I could not fully convey the experience because no matter how good I felt me memory was I still could not recall exactly the things that were taking place on the machine. It struck me that after a session even before writing I would have already paraphrased the experience. Almost like narrating it from an outside view. So then I challenge myself to dig back into what really was going on, but with every effort I find that the line between what I had told myself and how I might govern my thoughts was being blurred even as soon as the specific moment passed. What was reality? Or should that be what is reality?

The experience itself is wonder-some, wonder-ous and wonder-full. So then how to capture it with letters and words becomes an intriguing quest. The reason for airing this is that some times I find myself trying to work out the nature of the narrative element and the felt experience. Some session are vivid in my mind, but even then I know how easy it is to convince oneself of the ease or difficulty of a session or workloads. In fact over the year I have witnessed the amazing capacity that we have in make ourselves believe that a session was easy. The comment that rings in my head is, "that was a piece of piss". Now we could get into the mean of this description but I don't want to get pulled off course. So then what it means is that it was easy in a way that commands attention. Easy to the point of going even further, faster or quicker if required. It was self convincing in such a way as to create a platform of certainty. The athlete I heard this from was amazing at being able to turn things around. To be able to construct self belief in a way that would carry him and his crew to a place of confidence. When in reality the experience was rough, uncomfortable, inefficient and all together hard. Watching this type of narration and storytelling was compelling and not only did it convince those around but to me it was the rod of strength that enable this athlete to perform at a high level.

Self talk like writing can do many things. It can have a positive effect and negative one. As I begin this journey again. As I get back on the roller coast for another ride I sense that part of the process is how I tell my story. It first happens in my mind, then through my actions, it comes out in my journaling and finally it can be seen by how I combine and perform out on the water.

They are merely words and sentences that I play with to attempt to translate the experiences that are available in rowing and other area's of life. Personally I am very grateful to the opportunity to row but I am also glad that I am keeping this journal.

3 comments:

paul said...

That's a pretty interesting piece drew.i'm an oarsman as well no where near your capability, but i have often thought back at a session and tried to assess it a few hours later.And something i want to ask was how you see yourself when you train on reflection.i find it very weird that when i do look back i see myself from overhead, an aerial view of how i was rowing, or see the bow and how it was moving through the water.there have been other images too.but i guess what i'm really wondering is do you ever get this? I think what i'm trying to achieve gets confused with what is actually happening.I'm confused though. I think this is a good thing while i'm rowing but not sure after it's all happened if it's any good for looking back and assessing.

Anonymous said...

For whatever your personal reasons are in keeping this journal, I just want to extend thanks from those of us who will never be at your level. Sitting down and reading your latest entry is something my friends and I enjoy as it shows us insights into a world we will not be able to achieve ourselves. It is exhilarating to read about the various experiences you have had that are so different than ours, and also to see similar thoughts that you have just as we do when rowing. Thank you and good luck in your training and at Beijing.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you as well. Reaing your journal has been beyond inspirational in my own life, and something that I really enjoying to to apply to my day to day experiences as wel.. It gives me insight into being the best one possibly can in the world at something that you love, and it inspires me to excel in my own life as well. thank you again and good luck in Bejoing! ou are a true champion and your thoughts and sharing of your experiences is very inspiring.

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