Letting it Happen…just like at the Catch

Training Camp #2 concluded this past Saturday as “my training family” and I pulled out of Aiken, South Carolina and onto I-95 ,headed back north to Connecticut. Last week was an important lesson in the importance of patience and the undeniable significance of timing. Things truly happen at their own pace and in many instances, beyond our control. Whether it is in our professional, personal, or athletic worlds, we only have so much control over limited things in our lives. When we force or attempt to press on certain issues, objects, relationships, or whatever they may be, those things tend to only push back and become even more difficult for us to handle. Every force has an equal and opposite force (reaction), right?
Aiken, SC Sunrise – 2011 Training Camp


Just like at the catch, simply letting the blades drop into the water, you can’t force it (as I seem to be doing right now). When you force this inevitable part of the rowing motion, things go awry. Balance can be compromised, you dig the blades too deep into the water, and your stroke becomes inefficient and ineffective. Rowing is power, but rowing is very much finesse. I’ve got the power down, but allowing for finesse and trusting that certain things will happen is coming a bit slower. This concept serves as an interesting metaphor for other facets of my life. Patience,  timing, and learning to be comfortable with just letting things happen– who knew rowing would drive home such big life lessons.

I completed my first NSR (National Selection Regatta) time trial this morning in what I hope will be the absolute worse rowing conditions I ever have to row in for a very long time. Brutal. Mind you, I’ve yet to actually compete in a full-on 2,000 meter race. Not to worry, this will come tomorrow morning. I didn’t make it into the Heats but managed to not finish last. There is a small victory in that. Success takes time and while I’ll never be of the mindset to sit back and let success happen, I do need to remember an important lesson I learned in all my years of ball sports… Let the game come to you.

One thought on “Letting it Happen…just like at the Catch

  1. Ah, young jedi, how quickly you learn the practical lesson… The major obstacle of most people/rowers is their inability to see how the sport, the commitment, and the rhythm truly relates to the bigger picture. Being able to do that, well, is more of a challenge than finding the finesse. So, you’re ahead of the game there.

    You’re new in the game, and that is the king card. I don’t need to tell you about learning curves or any of that, because you’ve probably drawn graphs in your journals and your strategic little minds eye. In 2004 I watched Shoop compete in her first singles race at Canadian henley against a younger and less ‘accomplished’ crowd and she came in dead last. Three years later she won NSRs in the single, and the year after that she won olympic gold in the 8. What’s the take away from that? Anything is possible if you’re willing to stick with it despite what the initial results might be. Go longer than most people think is reasonable, and you’ll be the one standing at the end. Also, eat lost of raisin bran. Shoop downs the teeter brand boxes… secret weapon? Bran? You never know….


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