The past 6 months pushed me to the brink - from the brink of quitting, the realisation of the importance sculling is to me through to understanding that it's international racing that now drives me. It's been a hell of a ride. Looking back, every element played a role in this World Championships being completely different to the last - despite looking exactly the same on the surface. Same crew, same order... different result. But it's not just the result that was different, it was the whole process.
The biggest difference is obviously that this time I wasn't the new fish (although I was still the baby of the crew, racing with 3 seasoned veterans... again!). However, a bigger element in my opinion to making this season so different was doing the World Cups. Looking back, I had no idea how those races would change my perception of racing and what I'm capable of. Bled presented me with the toughest race of my life. That's banked and believe me I keep going back to it when I need to dig deep.
Secondly, and for similar reasons to be honest, my rib injury played a huge part in making this season what it was. Two months out of a boat and the gym in the middle of trialing, with only a watt bike for company, pushed me to the limit of my personal capacity to handle situations. Some people would relish the opportunity to do something different. I resented it and - being brutally honest - hated every second. Anyone who would rather do 2,400 squats in one go than get on a static bike definitely has issues! When I needed to find something extra in the last 500m of my Worlds final last week when I already felt like I was on the line, I thought back to my 30min watt bike test. Sweating blood, tears and a lot of self respect taught me that I can definitely go harder when the limit has already theoretically been reached.
So, in the next couple of days before I have to head back into the office, I'll be taking some time to get things straight. Then I'll think about getting back in a boat.