Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thunder bolts and lightning very very freighting…

Back on the gold coast and well it has rained most of the last 24 hours. Not to have our spirits dulled we have made light of the situation. You would think that rain hail and shine we would be out splashing up and down the waterway. Not us we managed to put this morning session off and instead jumped on the stationary bikes.

As for last night we rowed in the wild weather with lightning flashing across the sky and thunder cracks surrounding us. It was cool for a while but then we got scared, so we came in. It was our first row since nationals and actually was pretty good as a start point.

So the storms have raged around us and there has been an element of frustration with a few things relating to our plans going forward. Seems that not everyone we are engaged with in rowing are as particular about the needs and expectations that will lead to best performances. Settling for second best situation to me is not the best way forward but unfortunately some people are forgetting that this thing we do is challenging enough as it is with out extra hurdles and frustrations.

The storms rage inside and out. Keeping a lid on things is not my cup of tea. My emotions are well placed and provide great benefit in times of competition, but it is easily forgot that compromise does not mean give in to stupidity. Compromise means work for the best solution that creates the ideal outcome.

This may seem all a bit confusing and believe me when I say that it confuses me. Why would we doing things differently in an Olympic year? This year in the cycle is about refining. Making subtle changes to gain that extra 1/4 of a percentage here or there. When decisions are made about our preparation with little consultation and the lacking of true understanding then bad decisions are made that impact performance. So just like training in a storm it is not wise to think that someone of something won’t come off second best. That is if the storm becomes serious and the dangers are real. Why persist when everything says go in doors and get warm, be comfortable.

It is a great challenge to compete on the international stage and one that does not need to be made more so. Some days just to training is enough and others you feel like training is easy and more becomes possible. A team should be about enabling athletes to be there best. We choose to be here in Queensland and even when the weather inhibits us for doing what we plan we can still find ways to make to most of the opportunity. That is what we do. That’s what we are trained to do. Make the best of any situations. So when does one say no, this is not good enough?

We have to make a call every day about the level of performance we expect of ourselves. If we don’t perform we have only ourselves to blame. It is there fore critical we take responsibility for our actions and in doing so we become accountable. There is a storm brewing and the each cycle things change. Not always for the better mind you. If as athletes we let little things change our course from what is needed to some suedo need we are never going to achieve the great things we dream of. We have to be conscious of how we are going to best prepare and with that comes the need to be aware of the influences on us and how not all of them are in aid of what we do.

The storm is outside, it’s inside, I rage and those who rage will achieve as long as the pin pointed focus and accuracy is maintained. We must not wavier from our course and for those who are part of our collective force who don’t also perform they will be left behind.
Unfortunately it is a reality that not all are committed to achieving best performance. The storm is here and the courage to adapt, stand strong, move from stupidity and stay the course is a requirement that cannot be forgotten.

For the remainder of our time here we will review our plan and solidify our resolve to be the best we can. I now can’t wait until our next row…

By the way Chris and I had great Thai food last nigh and enjoyed discussing the journey we have been on over the last 8 years together. I guess it is the connection with people who are learning and developing that brings the best out in you. This is something I love about working with Chris and Duncan. We are all still learning and enjoy the stimulation and exploration. Even as I consider what I have just written I think it is all part of the big picture. It all leads to the journey being what it is and it all makes us who we are.

I think of my Grand Pa saying to me years ago, “If success was easy everyone would be doing it.”

It is not just our competitors we engage with that challenge us but within our own house we have those who make things complicated. Someone said this morning that you just have to succeed in spit of people some times. He also add another very colourful expression with may not be appropriate here, but went along the lines of, “stuff em.” And by the way he didn’t say it just once but repeatedly if you get what I mean.

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