Saturday, June 19, 2010
2hrs 40mins until our repercharge. I'm dreading it but relishing getting it started both at the same time. Bit like how you feel before an exam. You're not looking forward to it, but you know you're as prepared as you can be so you're looking forward to getting it started, doing something constructive (rather than the horrible final hours before hand where you're just worrying about it) and finding out the result. In these last few moments in my hotel room before I get on the bus to the course and we go through the racing day motions... practice weigh (always unnecessary), waiting, weighing in officially, waiting some more, waiting some more, going to the loo, getting race kit on, going to the loo AGAIN, heading to the boat for pre-race chat, walking the blades down, wondering if I need the loo once more, deciding it's just adrenaline, hands on the boat, walking to the pontoon, pushing off, warm up, waiting for a race to go past, continuing warm up, questioning why I'm doing this, waiting for another race to go past, heading up to the start area, removing final kit, hearing the start list and the inevitable '5 mins' read out in a vague European accent, getting attached, waiting.... before all that lovely 2 and a bit hours, I like to remind myself that the result is not yet acheived, the inevitable is not inevitable, that history has not yet been written. I can still influence the result. It is still anyone's race. I am constantly reminded by myself, coaches and my fellow athletes that anything can happen. If you're on the start line you have a chance. It can be anyone's race. Nothing is guaranteed. So matter how the race unfolds, you stay alert, stay on your game. In international races things DO happen and they tend to happen in the last 500m, if not the last 250m. There is no giving up, no finding yourself in 4th place and thinking 'oh well, this is always where I thought I would be'. EVERYONE fights, even if all looks like it is lost, nobody gives up. It is a fight to the death, to the last stroke. You only need to win by a bowball - if you can still hear the other crew you still have a chance, even if you can't see them. So, I'm preparing myself for a battle. There are 5 crews, 2 spots in the A final and 10 women on that startline who all want it and know that on their day they can acheive it. Only the others can stop them and they're going to make it damn hard. I'm getting prepared to make it the hardest race they've ever had.