For many, that can be a brutal reality. What you do on the erg does matter in terms of volume and building your base. You have to work to develop your fitness; that’s a no-brainer. But as anyone knows, it means close to nothing if you can pull an unbelievable 2K or 6K time with handle and chain, if you can’t move a boat with oar and water. Maybe you’ll win the hammer at CRASH-Bs but I’d much rather win a Gold at Worlds or the Olympics. Just my two cents.
So, I finally bought my own boat last week. Cross that off the list of goals set for the year! It is February 8th and I couldn’t be more excited to take MY single out on the water. Hurry up warm weather. The idea of having my OWN boat is exciting, scary, and a bit of a reality check. I’ve been putting in the time on the erg and in the gym; now I’m putting in the money, personal investment and commitment to truly go after a dream. There is something unbelievably powerful and yet frightening in acknowledging the reality of climbing that high dive ladder and jumping straight into the deep end. It looks real nice to talk about it with your feet dry and on the ground, but taking the plunge is an entirely different experience.
Hence, why I have probably experienced a little bit of the “holy shit” feeling of a little fear but mostly positive anxiety over the past week. There is nothing easy about putting in the hours of hard training–waking up at 5:30am (or earlier), then putting in a full 8-10 hour work day…only to finish your day with a second 1-2 hour workout. Truly it is easy to “play National Team” and train in the safety of name-your-boathouse, facility, or gym. Putting in the time can be physically tough and perhaps mentally strenuous if you’re balancing a family, friends, a job, or simply your life; but I keep reminding myself that this is the easy part. The hard part comes when I’m getting destroyed in the first few (or dozen) races come April and May. Taking a physical beating is easy to recover from: you rest. Taking an emotional beating takes guts, perseverance, and the ability to put your pride (because, let’s face it all athletes have egos) on the shelf for a while.
Bring on the high dive. Ready to jump in headfirst and get a little wet.
One thought on “Ergs Don’t Float…”
My senior fall in HS I was getting ready for the final push of recruiting season by doing weekly 1-on-1 2k’s with my coach. I decided one Sunday morning that I was going to break 7:10, and that if I started strong I could just make myself finish it out. I went out at a 1:39 for the first 500 with a 43 stroke rate. Needless to say, I crashed and burned. Hence the whole Crash b idea. Dropping 2 seconds is sometimes a milestone that needs to be celebrated, and finishing, well that can be just as important. You’ve got to have those down days to keep yourself hungry for the up days. That’s how you gain ‘experience’… Everyone plateaus, but the people who never have the down days struggle the most to ever bounce back. It’s also how you learn the secret handshake, and read the fine print informing you that this sport is brutal. There’s a reason that peaceful placid rowing pictures are on the front of the brochures and not bloody blistered hands and unicorn tears.